Farm machinery cut power in Swaffham area

More than 1,400 homes and businesses in the Swaffham area were left without power today after power lines were brought down by farm machinery.

More than 1,400 homes and businesses in the Swaffham area were left without power today after power lines were brought down by farm machinery.

The power cut happened after the lines were downed at 10.26am at Hilborough, near Swaffham, cutting power to 90 homes in the village and 1,400 premises in the Castleacre Road and Market Place areas of Swaffham.

The supply was restored to half of the Swaffham premises within 10 minutes but the town's electricity was not fully back on line until just after 3.10pm.

Engineers from EDF Energy Networks replaced the damaged equipment and Hilborough's power was up again by just after 4pm.

IRS Signs' 23 employees at its workshop and offices in Castleacre Road were brought to a standstill for an hour and 20 minutes during the blackout.

Managing director Steve Parker said the business would be looking to get compensation for what had happened.

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He said: “We had no factory production, no phones or e-mail so we were completely down for that time. We have lost time and therefore we have lost money.”

Nobody was hurt in the accident but Simon Frazer, EDF Energy Networks public safety manager, reminded farmers and scaffolders of the importance of taking care around power lines.

He said: “Our message is always to 'look out and look up'. Electricity can jump across gaps - just like lightning - and it can kill you.”

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