M5 in Somerset reopens 33,000 volt power cable pole catches fire

The motorway Image copyright BBC Radio Somerset
Image caption Western Power said the pole caught fire and the cable was suspended in the air, causing a nearby substation's supply to trip

A stretch of the M5 in Somerset was closed when a pole connected to a 33,000-volt power cable caught fire.

The motorway was shut between junctions 23 and 22 on Wednesday evening after a nearby substation tripped, cutting supply to 10,546 customers.

Western Power said the top of the pole burnt off, causing conductors "to clash together" and trip a circuit breaker.

Engineers worked overnight to fix the overhead line and the road re-opened just before 04:00 BST.

The firm apologised for the disruption, and said power was immediately restored to all but one affected customer.

Engineers were alerted by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to the fire near Burnham at 18:37.

Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Avon and Somerset Police tweeted a picture of the pole as the carriageway was closed

"We established it was the 33,000-volt circuit feeding our Burnham Primary Substation," a Western Power spokesman said.

"At 18:55 the circuit breaker feeding this substation tripped disconnecting supplies to 10,546 customers. 10,545 customers were immediately restored via an alternative circuit."

The motorway was shut in both directions and traffic diverted on to the A38 while repairs were carried out.

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