A worker was rescued by PG&E after his elevated bucket hit power lines, likely causing it to fail and stranding him in chilly Fresno air near live wires for nearly three hours Thursday.
The man was working on a cell tower near Maple and Copper avenues when the bucket on his crane truck accidentally collided with live power lines around 9:15 a.m.
The cell tower was next to a Pacific Gas and Electric substation, so PG&E workers were at the scene immediately, PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles said.
The 115,000 volts of electricity was likely the cause of the hydraulic failure, Boyles said, but crews were still investigating. PG&E workers said that the tires of the truck appeared to have burn marks.
PG&E had to ground the live wires before a rescue attempt could be made. A PG&E worker tethered himself to the stranded man, who was able to walk from his bucket to PG&E’s.
The stranded man got back on solid ground just before noon, and he was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation.
Cal/OSHA was headed to the scene to investigate.
The name of the man and the company he works for weren’t immediately available.
Boyles said that drivers a vehicle that comes in contact with live power lines should do not get out. The vehicle’s tires may keep drivers safe from electrocution until PG&E can shut off the power.