This is firefigher Chen Huangxin nursing a very sore head indeed, after he crashed a brand new £500,000 fire engine following a heavy boozing session in China.

Dozy Chen brought a new meaning to the phrase 'getting smashed' after his drunken prank ended with him driving the new shiny vehicle in to straight in to a building.

The emergency response unit ended up on its side and surrounded by wreckage from the incident in Yunlin, south-east China.

Explaining his moment of madness, Chen explained he had been suddenly gripped by a wish "to see green fields and trees".

But taking the brigade's "pride and joy" on a crazy joyride through crowded streets was not very inspired at all.

During the madcap mission, Chen ploughed the fire engine through overhead powerlines, clattered in to a lorry and wrote off several cars.

A fuming fire brigade spokesman fulminated: "It is hard to think of anything worse he could have done."

"This engine was our pride and joy, the best in our fleet. And he managed to almost destroy it. He will never work again for us."

Unsurprisingly, Chen was fired from his job. He remained contrite, saying: "'I realised I have brought disgrace upon me and the service I loved. I am truly sorry."