Farm worker tells of his escape
A FATHER-of-two last night spoke about how he miraculously survived fire and electrocution in an agricultural accident by keeping a cool head.Farm worker Chris Vincent, 56, from Hedenham, near Bungay, accidentally brought power cables down on top of the tractor he was driving when he collided with an electricity pole.
A FATHER-of-two last night spoke about how he miraculously survived fire and electrocution in an agricultural accident by keeping a cool head.
Farm worker Chris Vincent, 56, from Hedenham, near Bungay, accidentally brought power cables down on top of the tractor he was driving when he collided with an electricity pole.
The potentially lethal live lines trapped him in his seat as 11,000 volts coursed through the cab on Bedingham Hall Farm on Thursday at 2pm.
Emergency services were called and firefighters attended.
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The electricity firm EDF was also asked to turn off power in the area, which briefly affected the supply to 593 customers nearby.
The stranded vehicle eventually caught fire but Mr Vincent quickly doused the flames with a bottle of squash he was carrying as emergency services looked on helplessly.
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He said that one line became lodged tightly on top of the tractor and was making a loud noise.
'I was just hoping the noise was going to stop and when it did I just thought I'm lucky I'm here,' he said.
'I did sort of think I've escaped being electrocuted and now I'm going to burn to death.
'Luckily my number isn't up yet. Someone's on my side,' he added.
Once the power was turned off he was able to walk away from the John Deere machine unscathed but shaken after almost an hour trapped inside.
John Barrett, regional business manager for Sentry Farms, which employed Mr Vincent, said that all staff were trained in what to do in emergency situations.
He added that the company's procedures had worked perfectly in this case and praised the work of the emergency services who attended.
The Health and Safety Executive says that farming is one of the most dangerous occupations and that 45 farm workers have been killed in the last 12 months within the UK.
On average two people each year are killed after coming into contact with power lines.
Earlier this month another farm worker, Grzegorz Pieton, was killed at Terrington St Clement, near King's Lynn, when his tractor and trailer came into contact with power lines.