Horror as molten metal is sprayed over parked vehicles | BristolWorld

2022-08-19 20:25:58 By : Ms. BinBin Ye

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Luckily no-one was hurt during the incident

A spray of molten metal caused more than £15,000 of damage to three vehicles when a contractor attempted to replace a lamppost head with ‘disastrous results’.

Sparks came down when the worker contracted by Bristol City Council resorted to using an angle grinder while on a cherry picker above a public pavement. Fortunately no-one was walking under the lamppost in Wingfield Road in Bedminster at the time of the incident in late October.

But three cars were damaged, including two belonging to a 50-year-old IT engineer who today told BristolWorld he had finally had an offer from the contractor’s insurance company - only after help from local councillor Gary Hopkins.

Councillor Hopkins, of the Knowle Community Party, stepped in when the resident, who does not wish to be named, was made to wait three months after initially complaining about the issue.

Because it was down to work by a contractor, the resident said he could find no-one to take responsibility on resolving the matter.

Talking about the incident last year, the man said: “I heard the noise but as I was working round the back of my house I didn’t think anything of it until I later came out to find the damage to mine and my wife’s car.

“The molten metal stuck to the bonnets of the cars, causing £15,000 of damage. It was lucky no-one was walking nearby.”

So ‘embarrassed’ by the damage, the man got the bonnet repaired while he chased the council for help as he started an attempt to get the damage to his and his wife’s vehicles - an Audi A6 and a Suzuki Swift - paid for.

But, according to Councillor Hopkins, the council lighting team wasn’t informed on the incident. Meanwhile, the contractor ‘pretended that the damage was not their fault’, said Councillor Hopkins.

However, after pressure which included the matter being raised at a public meeting with mayor Marvin Rees, the contractor’s insurance company finally made a ‘substantial’ offer, which the IT engineer has accepted.

Asked to apologise and encourage the company to reimburse residents, the mayor said ‘things will happen’ and the council has ‘applied pressure’ on the contractors.

Mr Rees said: “There has been pressure applied to the contractor. Wherever people work within Bristol and do things that have a negative impact on the people of Bristol, particularly when we’re contracting them, we want to make sure that’s recorded on their record. We expect people to do good work in a good way.

“We’re continually monitoring the contractors now, things will happen, and we expect this organisation to respond accordingly.

“We’re resolving the situation between our officers and the contractor, to make sure appropriate action is taken, people aren’t out of pocket and are taken care of, and to make sure the systems work properly in future to protect our residents.”

On the incident, Councillor Hopkins said: “Things started to go wrong when the workman up the cherry picker couldn’t get the old head off. He resorted to using an angle grinder with disastrous results.

“The grinder produced a spray of molten metal, approximately 2,000 degrees, which carried down over the front of neighbouring houses. Fortunately there were no pedestrians, who would have received serious injuries.”

BristolWorld has approached the contractor, but has not received a response to date.