West Paris Fire Chief Mike Henderson assesses downed utility wires following an accidents between an excavator and a power pole at the Rust Lantern on Bethel Road. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

WEST PARIS — The Bethel Road at the corner of Routes 26 and 219 in West Paris closed for several hours Wednesday after an excavator doing landscaping work at the Rusty Lantern got caught in utility lines and snapped a telephone pole at the convenience store’s entrance.

West Paris Fire Chief Mike Henderson told the Advertiser Democrat “They caught the lines and busted the pole. It’s laying across the road. And here we are.

“There were no vehicles affected, just the excavator. The operator is fine. We can’t move the excavator yet because the lines are tangled in it.”

Southbound traffic on the Bethel Road in West Paris was rerouted onto Main and High streets towards South Paris.

The Maine Department of Transportation closed northbound traffic in Paris at 826 Park Street and place a detour sign directing vehicles onto Paris Hill Road toward Ryerson Hill Road.

In addition to landscaping around the store, new diesel pumps are also being installed at the Rusty Lantern.

The accident happened shortly after 2 p.m. Henderson said he expected Central Maine Power to have the lines installed on a new pole and power restored to the neighborhood by 6 p.m.

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