A vehicle salvage firm has been fined £40,000 after one of their mechanics suffered serious burns when an inspection pit exploded.

According to sky.com, Lee Roberts was set on fire when a vehicle inspection pit underneath a van burst into flames.

It is thought that the fire may have been caused by the Lancashire firm using electric drills to puncture fuel tanks and the extension lead in the pit created a spark.

Mr Roberts was put into an induced coma after the incident and suffered burns to his hands, legs and nose. He has not been able to return to work, reports bbc.co.uk.

In addition to their poor fuel draining process, the firm also had no fire alarms or detectors installed in the building – which has since been condemned.

Douglas Valley Breakers pleaded guilty to the five charges and stated that changes have since been made to increase its workers’ safety.

HSE inspector David Myrtle said it was fortunate that Mr Roberts survived the incident.

“The company had the right equipment to do the job properly but instead it allowed workers to stand in a put surrounded by fuel vapours where just one spark could start a fire,” he commented.