Workers trapped for hours by downed power lines

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SEATTLE - Four power poles and their lines came down, trapping workers in two dump trucks and a backhoe in Seattle’s Cascade neighborhood for hours.

The area where the lines went down is the new South Lake Union substation that's under construction. 

Seattle City Light said a worker driving a backhoe at the worksite near Denny Way and Pontius Avenue North snagged an overhead power line, bringing down four power poles, five transformers and the associated power lines at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

The downed power lines trapped three workers  in their vehicles.

Video from Chopper 7 showed a driver sitting in a dump truck that had a power line draped across it.  Another occupied dump truck had a power pole across its hood.  A third person was inside a backhoe with a line nearby.

Police, firefighters and Seattle City Light crews responded to keep the area clear while de-energizing the wires.

The workers were able to exit their vehicles by 1:40 p.m. No one was hurt.

Seattle City Light crews are working to replace the broken poles and wires. It is expected that the work will take approximately 10-12 hours. In the meantime, Seattle Department of Transportation has closed off portions of Denny Way, but both lanes eastbound and one lane westbound are open. 

An alternate street for traffic on Denny to reach Capitol Hill is Olive Way.  An alternate route to reach the on-ramp to southbound I-5 from Denny is Howell Street.  Motorists can also use Fairview Avenue North to the Mercer I-5 ramps.

Power was cut to an apartment building and eight other customers.