A workman who drilled through an electricity cable was engulfed in flames and thrown into the air in a blast on Blackpool's South Promenade.
Lucky-to-be-alive Ian Chapman, 29, who works for J W Signs, was putting up a sign outside the Traditional Fish and Chips shop. He suffered serious burns to his upper body.
Emergency services, including two fire crews, attended to Mr Chapman and made the underground electric cable safe.
Power to several homes and businesses in the Waterloo Road area and South Promenade was lost for several hours due to the accident.
Mr Chapman is currently in a stable condition at the Royal Preston Hospital after suffering burns to his shoulder, arms and face.
Health and safety officers from Blackpool Council have launched an investigation into the incident.
Copyright © PA Business 2008
David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: This was a terrible industrial accident. An investigation is underway as to what went wrong leading to this accident. Work involving digging up roads and footpaths has to be carefully assessed to ensure all risks including those of electrocution are addressed.
"I have experience of handling cases involving workers who have been injured in accidents at work involving electrocution and burns."