A CONTRACTOR is 'lucky to be alive' after suffering an electric shock outside a Widnes pub which caused a huge flash and bang.
The incident happened when a Halton Borough Council contractor was working outside The Grapes pub and hit a live wire while digging, resulting in him needing hospital treatment.
One eyewitness said: 'I was inside the pub when I heard a massive noise and yelp from a man who was working in the pit outside.
'We rushed out to see if he was all right. He climbed out of the hole and he was clearly shook up.
'He has to steady himself on a van and was shaking like a leaf. All the hairs on his arms were burnt to a crisp.'
The contractor was taken to hospital and treated for burns to his hands and arms.
Grapes landlord John Yates said: 'The man was in a right state and he was definitely counting his blessing because if the steel bar he was working alongside had fallen the other way then he might not have been here today.'
He claims a representative from another electrical firm was then called out to fix the problem.
Mr Yates said: 'The second contractor told us that the man could have killed himself.
'There are still cables hanging out and a sign has been attached saying 'do not touch'.
'The electricity went out in my pub, which I was not very happy about. My cooling system in the cellar was cut off and I could not serve beer to customers for two hours'
A Halton Borough Council spokeswoman said: 'We are aware that an incident took place. It is being dealt with by the Health and Safety Executive, which is responsible for carrying out this investigation as it occurred on a construction site.'
A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said: 'The incident may not have been investigated by our officers as it was a minor incident.
'If the incident had been more serious and in which the man would have been in hospital for 24-hours, suffered broken bones or been off work for three days, then we would have investigated fully - but it seems that we can put this down to a lucky escape story.'