FortisBC restores power after crane incident damaged power lines

WorkSafeBC investigates

UPDATE 11:06 a.m.

WorkSafeBC is now investigating after being notified of a workplace incident in the 1300 block of Pridham Avenue in Kelowna Tuesday morning.

"A WorkSafeBC officer is attending the scene. We do not have more information to share currently," says WorkSafeBC spokesperson Yesenia Dhott. "WorkSafeBC has not launched an investigation into this incident (at this time). We had a WorkSafeBC prevention officer attend the scene."

One of the carpenters working on the site reached out to Castanet to explain that the crane had been running slower than usual so a crew was brought in to try and fix the issue.

"The only issue with the crane was that it was working at a snail's pace. So the service technician from the crane company was trying to figure out the problem. And that's when the mishap occurred. Again, I must stress that while he was doing that he was doing it in an area where no one was working. So there was no danger to anyone. No harm, no foul," says on-site carpenter Harry Kahl.

"The only mishap of the whole situation. Is that when the snatch block broke off, yeah, sure it fell down. And if there were people underneath it, there could have been serious repercussions. But that was not the case. What happened was the cable swung out and hit the hydro line. It's simple as that, that's why they call them accidents."

FortisBC says the initial contact disrupted power and their work crews managed to restore power in about an hour.

ORIGINAL 9:05 a.m.

Power was out briefly for some customers living near the Capri Mall in Kelowna Tuesday morning after what appears to be an issue with a crane working in the area.

"Fortis is on scene right now. The actual cable for that hook broke and landed right in the middle of the road," says Glen who lives next door.

According to Glen's eyewitness account, the crane was lifting building materials onto a building currently under construction when the cable snapped and damaged power lines, knocking out power for some 54 FortisBC customers in the Belaire Avenue and Pridham Avenue area.

The incident happened at approximately 7:40 a.m.. "the cables are still hanging there. You can see both parts of the cables still sitting on the ground on one side. And the other part of the cable is hanging from the crane," Glen says.

"I just thought another crane story for Kelowna. They're lifting some heavy prefab building kind of (material). So they're lifting big, heavy parts of buildings up there. Luckily it happened when there was nothing on it."

FortisBC managed to restore power just before 9 a.m.

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