Lorry driver escapes injury

A lorry driver has had a lucky escape after his lorry collided with a high voltage electricity pole while transporting animals from a farm near Toome.

A lorry driver escaped injury after reversing into and breaking a high voltage electricity pole on a farm near Toome. Submitted picture.

The incident happened shortly after 11am on Monday, March 30 and affected electricity supplies to five homes in the surrounding area.

NIE emergency crews responded, assessing the damage and working into the evening to replace the broken pole, restring the overhead power lines and carry out safety checks.

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Customers were restored to power in the early hours of Tuesday morning, March 31.

Christine Baker, NIE Customer Relations Manager for the area, says this incident was avoidable and lorry drivers must take caution when entering and exiting farmyards.

Christine said: “The lorry driver reversed into the yard and broke a high voltage 11,000 volt electricity pole, which fell over the back of the lorry.

“Luckily no-one was injured but the driver or anyone on site could have been severely injured or killed.

“Farmers and landowners should make any contractors or lorry drivers aware of the location of overhead power lines and poles on their land. Vehicles and equipment don’t have to touch lines to become live as electricity can jump gaps.

“They can remain live at dangerously high voltages until NIE engineers carry out a safety isolation. I cannot stress strongly enough the need for caution when working near electricity equipment – electricity can kill if the correct safety procedures are ignored.”

Anyone working in the vicinity of overhead lines should carry out their work in accordance with Health and Safety Executive guidelines, particularly GS6.

NIE currently offers the farming community a wide range of advice and assistance to help them avoid both overhead lines and underground cables including advice leaflets, videos and maps and diagrams of the electricity network.

Visit nie.co.uk for more safety advice or contact NIE on 03457 643 643.