A woman was trapped in her vehicle yesterday in the town of Howland, Maine after a boom truck travelling with its boom raised pulled down overhead power lines, causing them to drop onto her car.
She wisely remained in the car until the electrical utility was able to categorically confirm that the power was switched off. The incident happened close to a major construction site managed by the contractor Cianbro, which also owns and operates the crane. The woman was apparently not injured, power was cut to over 1,100 customers of the utility Bangor Hydro.
It is amazing how often loader crane and boom truck drivers will set off without properly stowing the boom. Invariably damage ensues and it is usually a bridge or overhead power lines. It would make sense for warning or – as is now required in Europe – interlocks to be fitted as standard in order to prevent such incidents. The solution is easy and inexpensive, while the benefits are clear.
What is encouraging is that in two incidents in two days the occupants – of a Bus in Toronto and then the car yesterday – have known to stay in their vehicles until the power was definitely off.