Ambulance©David Muscroft/Rex

A man has died on a farm in West Sussex after the machine he was using hit power lines.

The man, who has been named locally as Alfie Matthews, was using a grab mounted to a flat-bed truck to load hay bales.

It is understood the grab touched some high-voltage electric cables running close to the shed, with police saying the victim was thrown from the cab of the vehicle.

See also: Take care when working under power lines

A police spokesman said the force has assisted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in investigating an incident at Pond Farm, Lye Lane, East Ashling, Chichester, which was reported at 9.30am on Saturday (18 July).

“A 34-year-old man preparing to load hay bales was electrocuted after the jib of a crane mounted on a flat-bed truck touched high-voltage electric cables some 25-30ft above the ground.

“This resulted in him being thrown from the cab of the vehicle and caused a power cut affecting some 400 homes in the locality.

“The man was airlifted to the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, by helicopter, but sadly he died.

“The coroner has been informed.”

Local newspaper reports suggest Mr Matthews ran a treeworks and landscaping business based in Hambrook, Chichester.

His six-year-old son is understood to have been present during the incident, standing nearby in the field.