Lucky to be alive
Nick-of-time intervention by an Eastland Network contractor prevented what could have been a tragedy last night after a stationwagon took out a power pole and live lines came down on Back Ormond Road.
The crash happened at the Kawatiri Road corner at 6.50pm.
The 11Kv powerlines came down on to grass below and started a fire, and also came down across the fences at the corner.
Flames spread to the stationwagon and set it on fire.
“The two young women in the vehicle got out and were approaching the fenceline to get away from the fire when they were stopped in their tracks by a contractor from Eastland Network, who just happened to be nearby at the time,” a senior firefighter said.
“They were told to stay well away from the fence because the fence wires may have been live.”
An Eastland Network spokesman said the fence wires would have been live but only for a very short time after the power lines came down.
“Either way, the women were lucky to escape the crash without injury, and luckier still that the network contractor intervened,” the senior firefighter said.
The fire crews who attended could not get at the fire because of the downed power lines.
“We had to wait until Eastland Network faults staff arrived to isolate the power and give us the all-clear.”
The stationwagon was burned out. The two women were escorted to safety around the danger zone.
“They were OK.”
The crash cut power to around 600 customers.
“We had power restored to about 80 percent of them within an hour, and to most of the rest within an-hour-and-a-half,” the power network spokesman said.
“There were still four customers without electricity this morning, but once we replace the broken pole they will get their power back, too.”
Police have an inquiry under way into the crash.
“The driver of the vehicle was put through a drink-drive procedure afterwards,” police said.
“The two women are lucky to be alive. Our inquiries are continuing.”