Tractor accident leaves thousands without power

Nearly 5,000 homes near Oxford were left without power after a tractor carrying farm equipment crashed into electricity lines.

The tractor was pulling equipment that collided with high-voltage overhead cables and knocked out power at homes for several hours, said Southern Electric Power Distribution.

A number of homes in villages including North Hinksey, Stanton Harcourt, Aston, Chimney and Standlake lost electricity following the accident on Wednesday (5 September).

Earlier this harvest, almost 3,000 homes were left without power in Bracknell, Berkshire in a similar incident.

Southern Electric has issued a fresh warning to farmers this harvest to take extra care when working near overhead cables.

Norman MacIver, estates project manager, said: “Electricity can jump through the air, so it’s crucial that anyone operating agricultural equipment is aware of the optimum height they can open their equipment at and be aware of where overhead lines are situated before they move on to the next field.

“Night-time working is particularly dangerous. Our advice to operators is to avoid fields with overhead lines when harvesting after dusk, or when the driver is particularly tired – that is so important at this time of the year, when farmers are working even harder to get as much done as they can before darkness arrives.

“Even in broad daylight it is all too easy to miss lines when you are concentrating on your computer or what the header is doing.”

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