Wind turbine collapses in Co Tyrone

Investigation launched after structure buckles in Northern Ireland

The  wind turbine that collapsed at Screggagh wind farm, Co Tyrone.  An investigation has been launched into the incident. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The wind turbine that collapsed at Screggagh wind farm, Co Tyrone. An investigation has been launched into the incident. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

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 structure unexpectedly buckled and hit the ground, scattering debris across a wide area. It was one of eight on the Screggagh wind farm 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 the day of the incident, though it is understood the rotor blades spun out of control. The sound of the mechanical structure crashing to the ground could be heard up to seven miles away.

Some people compared the sound of the collapse 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.

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.”

PA