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Downed power lines trap man inside burning car

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Posted at 7:57 PM, Sep 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-29 19:57:25-04

Indianapolis firefighters risked their own safety Tuesday to extinguish a fire inside a car trapped by downed power lines.

The situation began when a Mini Cooper was rear-ended by a Dodge Durango traveling southbound on Ditch Road near 91st Street. The collision pushed the Mini Cooper across the center line and into the path of an Engledow truck and trailer, causing them to collide with a utility pole.

The force of the impact severed the pole at its base and caused power lines to fall on a silver Aveo. The driver told firefighters he had slammed on his brakes when he saw the initial crash, but then found himself trapped underneath the high-voltage wires.

Those wires carried 7,000 volts each, firefighters said.

Upon contact with the Aveo, the wires burned through the car at the rear corner and on top, causing fire to spread inside the vehicle.

Although operating procedure would have been to wait for the lines to be de-energized, firefighters, seeing the danger the motorist was in, proceeded to extinguish the fire at risk to their own lives.

The driver of the Aveo was eventually able to escape after an hour trapped inside his vehicle. He was taken to St. Vincent Hospital for examination, along with the driver of the Mini Cooper.

No serious injuries were reported.