A paramedic has praised building site workers who battled to save the life of colleague Leigh Burge after he was electrocuted.

He received an 11,000 volt shock after the crane he was guiding came into contact with power cables at the new Trowbridge Rugby Club site in Devizes Road, Paxcroft.

Richard Miller, a paramedic on the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “His injuries are looking worse than originally thought but we are optimistic.

“We would like to praise everyone on site, from his workmates, medical staff and police who have given him the best chance possible.”

Mr Burge, of Cold Ashton, Bristol, was airlifted to the Royal United Hospital, Bath and had a CT scan to see if he’d suffered brain damage.

Mr Burge, who is described as being in a critical condition, was later taken to a specialist burns unit at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, for treatment.

Wiltshire Police investigated the scene before officers from the Health and Safety Executive took over and work has now restarted on site.

Site manager Jason Tutty said: “All the boys were really shocked to see something like that happen and we were really sad to hear he’s taken a turn for the worse.”

The HSE asked for the electricity supply to 559 properties in Hilperton and Semington to be halted by Southern Electric during their investigation.

Henry Nurkowski, landlord of the Lion and Fiddle Hotel, said: “We managed to open up in time for lunch but we were down for a couple of hours. We had to call back our cleaner to do the rooms in the afternoon because of the lack of power earlier.”

Trowbridge Rugby Club president Mike James said: “As far as the club are concerned we hope the guy involved makes a full recovery and it goes without saying we’d send a message of sympathy to his family.”