An HGV driver narrowly escaped death after his tipper collided with a power line and sent 33,000 volts coursing through the vehicle.

Power network operator Electricity North West (ENW) has issued an urgent safety message following the serious incident in Lancashire earlier this month.

Engineers were called to a site in Skelmersdale after the lorry struck overhead power lines.

They discovered that as well as impacting the power network, the current from the lines had travelled through the truck and burst three of its tyres.

Fortunately, no injuries were sustained and the engineers were able to make the network safe.

However, despite the lucky escape, ENW said the outcome could have been very different:

“This was an incredibly serious incident, and I can’t stress enough how fortunate the driver was to walk away unharmed,” said Paul Killilea, ENW asset and investment director.

“Luckily, we’re only dealing with three burst tyres and a power cut, but this could have been far worse. The driver is lucky to be alive.

“This should be a warning to everyone who drives large vehicles, whether that be HGV tippers or tractors, to look out and look up.

“You must be aware of your surroundings and by being aware and switched on, these sorts of incidents can be avoided.”

The HGV which collided with overhead lines

The HGV which collided with overhead lines

Source: Electricity North West

After the incident, ENW engineers investigated the overhead lines and found they were compliant with safety and engineering standards.

Killilea added: “I urge people to take note of our yellow ‘danger of death’ signs on our electricity poles, pylons, and substations. Keep an eye on your surroundings and stay clear of the power network.”

This incident follows a similar warning earlier this month after a man climbed onto an electricity substation roof with a pair of metal ladders to retrieve a cat.