26 September 2023

QFES advises how to survive powerline crashes

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Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has linked with Energex and Ergon to advise drivers what to do if their vehicles come in contact with powerlines after an accident.

Last year alone more than 750 motorists hit power poles and other electrical assets, with nearly 30 occurring over the Easter holidays.

General Manager Field Delivery at Energex, Jeff Green said often the first instinct in such situations was to get out of the vehicle, but this was the most dangerous thing to do.

“As long as there isn’t a secondary life-threatening danger such as a fire, without doubt the safest course of action is to stay, call and wait,” Mr Green said.

“That means, stay in the vehicle, call Triple Zero and wait for help,” he said.

Mr Green said if someone tried to leave the vehicle with powerlines across it, there was a possibility the outside of the car was live.

“When they touch the ground the voltage will run through their body, possibly ending in severe injury or death,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner of QFES, Stephen Smith said people who witnessed road traffic crashes often tried to assist those involved, potentially putting themselves at risk.

“By touching the vehicle or any electrical equipment on the ground, well-intentioned bystanders may also find themselves in need of assistance,” Deputy Commissioner Smith said.

“Anyone who witnesses a traffic crash with powerlines or other electrical equipment contacting the vehicle should stay at least 10 metres clear of the incident and call Triple Zero immediately,” he said.

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