WARNING VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE: Police investigating frack truck incident

A photograph taken at the time of the incident
A photograph taken at the time of the incident

Police are investigating after an incident at the Preston New Road fracking site saw a security guard hit by a reversing truck.

Police confirmed that a driver has been reported for careless and inconsiderate driving.

Anti-fracking campaigners, who have been maintaining a vigil opposite the site near Little Plumpton,said they were shocked by the incident.

A truck was caught on camera backing up into two people who appeared to be pushed along by the vehicle.

Campaigners said a tipper-style truck bound for the fracking site stopped at the traffic management system on the A583 main road and then later reversed through the safety fencing gate .

The guard on the gate ended up being bowled over and a protester and another guard got stuck behind the reversing vehicle, having to run to avoid being hurt. Witnesses to the incident which happened at 11.45am on Friday, shouted for help from the police, who were close by.

I was disgusted that this incident was not taken seriously

Coun Miranda Cox, from Kirkham, was filming at the time. She said: “I was disgusted that the incident was not taken seriously at the time by the authorities or the contractor. We are extremely worried about plans to frack the site.

“We have sought confirmation that the site will be monitored and safety measures will be effective.

“What we witnessed on Friday only convinces us that nothing about this industry is safe. Imagine if this incident had involved a HGV carrying contaminated water or chemical laden fracking fluid?”

It is understood an ambulance was called to the scene although North West Ambulance Service was unable to confirm details.

A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire called for the incident to be investigated by the Health and Safety Executive and Lancashire County Council, adding: “We will take further follow-up action with all authorities after this incident.”

However Cuadrilla, the company which is aiming to drill up to four wells on the site and test frack for natural gas, criticised protesters.

A spokesman said the truck had been blocked while entering the site by a non-local protestor while another verbally abused the driver. They said the protestor blocking the truck was removed by the police.

The truck then entered the site but as it was reversing it clipped a Cuadrilla security guard, who was not injured, police said.

Cuadrilla added that the protester behind the vehicle had to be removed by another member of security to prevent her from being injured as the driver had no line of sight.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla said: “The irresponsible behaviour by protestors has resulted in their own and others health and safety being put at high risk.

“The police and our security team responded quickly to ensure that no serious harm came to anyone. We respect the right to peaceful protest however what we are witnessing is far removed from that. We condemn the actions of those protestors who are menacing our employees and contractors as they try to do their jobs professionally and responsibly.”

Driver is reported for summons

A police spokesman said: “We are aware people have raised concerns regarding an incident at the fracking site on Preston New Road on Friday, February 3.

“The incident involved a vehicle being operated on behalf of Cuadrilla which was involved in a collision with a member of security staff while reversing into the compound.

“Officers from Lancashire Road Policing Unit attended and we can confirm the driver, a 49-year-old man from Manchester, has been reported for summons for careless and inconsiderate driving and will be dealt with through the normal procedures.

“The member of security staff was not injured. This reinforces the message that we will and do facilitate peaceful and lawful protest however we will take positive action when and where appropriate.”