Wind turbine crashes to the ground after rotor blades 'spin out of control' under light winds

Sound of the crash could be heard seven miles away

Lesley-Anne McKeown
Sunday 04 January 2015 13:15
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The giant structure buckled and hit the ground
The giant structure buckled and hit the ground

A major investigation has been launched after an 80-metre wind turbine worth almost half a million pounds collapsed on a mountainside in Northern Ireland.

No one was injured when the giant structure unexpectedly buckled and hit the ground on Friday, scattering debris across a wide area. It was one of eight on the Screggagh wind farm on Murphy mountain near Fintona in Co Tyrone.

Doreen Walker, director of the wind farm, said: “There were fortunately no injuries and no personnel on site at the time.”

The cause of the collapse is unclear as winds were light on Friday. It is understood the rotor blades spun out of control and the sound of the mechanical structure crashing to the ground could be heard up to seven miles away.

Some people compared it to an explosion while others claimed to have heard the sound of metal grinding throughout the day.

In a statement Ms Walker said emergency procedures worked well.

The cause of the crash remains unclear

She said: “We are currently investigating the circumstances that led to the collapse of the turbine at Screggagh wind farm.

”We are however satisfied that the site's precautionary health and safety alert processes worked well with local emergency services in attendance within minutes of the incident taking place.“

She said officials were ”working closely“ with Nordex UK, the supplier of the wind farm turbines, to ensure the site is safe.

”A further statement will be made once the investigation has been completed and the reasons for the failure confirmed,“ she added.

PA

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