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Worker hospitalized after drilling rig hits Dominion Energy high-voltage line

Power restored to 25,000-plus in Virginia after outage that lasted for several hours
King George County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services.
Posted at 9:37 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 00:07:40-04

KING GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- Power was restored for more than 25,000 customers on the Northern Neck after a construction truck struck a Dominion Energy high-voltage transmission line at the King George landfill Wednesday afternoon, according to first responders.

Crews were called to the King George landfill just after 1:35 p.m. for a report of an unconscious person and then a brush fire, according to a social media post from King George County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services.

"Engine 1 arrived and found a utility truck and drilling rig on fire in a Dominion Energy high voltage transmission line easement," officials said. "The drilling rig reportedly made contact with the high voltage lines during operation."

King George County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services.
Power restored to 25,000-plus on Northern Neck after drilling rig hits high-voltage line at King George Landfill on May 1, 2024.

The blaze spread to the nearby brush and burned about one acre, according to officials.

Dominion Energy crews de-energized the high-voltage lines because of their proximity of the drilling rig and so that crews could "safely suppress the fire." That blaze was extinguished in about 15 minutes, officials said.

One worker was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. There was no word on their condition at last check late Wednesday.

Two other workers from the drilling crew were not hurt, according to firefighters.

Power outages as of 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 1.
Power outages as of 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 1.

Power was "being restored in phases to not overwhelm the grid" as of just after 4 p.m. officials with the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative said.

Power had been restored to more than 11,000 cooperative members who lost service as of about 4:45 p.m.

Additionally, power was restored to Dominion Energy customers, according to the power company's online outage tracker as of 4:45 p.m.

Earlier in the afternoon, more than 15,000 customers were without power. That included 6,877 customers in Westmoreland, 3,245 in Essex, 2,511 in Richmond (County), 2105 in Northumberland, 434 in King William and 394 in King and Queen.

Dominion Energy officials said a construction truck was working near one of the power company's transmission lines when it caught fire and caused the outage.

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