A workman saved a friend from electrocution in Hampshire by hitting him on the head with a plank of wood.

Mark Bradley suffered severe burns to his face when a lamppost he was helping to erect hit an overhead cable at the Network Rail site in Gresley Road.

The 50-year-old was taken to Southampton General Hospital, and was transferred to a specialist burns unit in Swansea.

His brother Michael Bradley said Ade Savage, a work colleague, saved Mark’s life by hitting him with a wooden plank in a desperate attempt to get him to release his grip on the electrified lamppost.

Michael said: “The man is a hero. Without a doubt, he saved my brother’s life.

“My brother was holding on to the lamppost so Ade attempted to pull him away, but that gave Ade an electric shock.

“He then tried to punch him, but that also gave him a shock, and so he started hitting him with a plank of wood, which worked.”

Michael said Ade later checked himself into Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Portsmouth, where he was also treated for burns.

He said: “My friend who works on the same site as Mark rang me on Monday afternoon and said my brother was in a bad way. Someone said he had blood coming out of his ears.

“He really is in a bad state. He has burns to his face and arms, and possible internal injuries – that’s what the doctors are worried about.”

Michael added: “We are devastated. What health and safety was in place that day, because that should never have been allowed to happen? How can a metal lamppost be allowed anywhere near a live cable?”

Father-of-one Mark, from Gosport, is a contract worker at the Gresley Road site, where Network Rail is building a £10million regional control and training centre.

Emergency services were called to the site just before 4pm on Monday following a report that a man had suffered serious burns.

A fire crew from Basingstoke fire and rescue station cleared the area as an electric current was still arcing by the lamppost when they arrived.

On Tuesday, a Network Rail spokesman said: “A contractor working on Network Rail’s new control centre in Basingstoke was injured while working on the site, managed by BAM Construction.

“An investigation will be carried out and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed. Our thoughts are with him and his family.”

In a statement, BAM Construction said: “We can confirm that there was an accident on our Basingstoke site late on Monday afternoon, where we are working for Network Rail.

“We deeply regret that this has happened, and our thoughts are with those affected. We are carrying out an urgent investigation into this incident, together with our client.”