Helicopter checks on Grantham’s overhead power network today after damage caused fire

Western Power Distribution are today carrying out checks using a helicopter.
Western Power Distribution are today carrying out checks using a helicopter.
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Helicopter patrols will be carried out by Western Power Distribution (WPD) today (Thursday) over Alma Park and between Londonthorpe and Skillington, to check the overhead power network after deliberate damage led to a fire on Monday.

WPD, the electricity distribution company serving the East Midlands, will use the helicopter to spot any problems on the high voltage overhead network, after a component was damaged on Monday.

At 6pm on August 3, firefighters were called to scrubland off Kenwick Drive in Grantham after a spark from an electricity pylon set it on fire. Three crews extinguished the fire using a hosereel and beaters.

WPD have confirmed that the incident was consistent with having been caused by a third party, and has been reported to the police.

Checks are now being undertaken to ensure it was an isolated event. Rob Ballentine, WPD’s Grantham Team Manager said: “Power lines carry extremely high voltages and interfering with them in any way is potentially lethal. It can put at risk the lives of our engineers who have to repair and replace them if they have been left in an unsafe condition.

“Similarly, other innocent people can become victims if the lines are brought down.”

Mr Ballentine said safety is WPD’s number one priority and there was concern after the incident earlier this week and the resulting fire.

“Such events can also be incredibly inconvenient for customers if they cause power cuts – especially for people relying on electricity for things like dialysis.

“Patrolling by helicopter to take a bird’s eye view, provides the fastest and most effective way to carry out checks on large sections of our network.

Repair work can then be undertaken before it becomes a problem that risks disrupting customers’ power supplies,” said Mr Ballentine.