Belfast Telegraph

Collapse of giant £2m wind turbine in Co Tyrone 'sounded like a bomb'

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

A major investigation has been launched after an 80-metre wind turbine worth £2m collapsed — creating an explosion-type noise heard seven miles away.

No one was injured when the giant structure unexpectedly buckled and hit the ground on Friday night, scattering debris across a wide area. It was one of eight on the Screggagh wind farm on Murphy mountain near Fintona in Co Tyrone. The remaining seven turbines have now been shut down until the cause of the crash is established.

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 described as medium 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.

Ms Walker said emergency procedures worked well.

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

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

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

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

Owen McMullan from the West Tyrone Against Wind Turbines action group said: “There must now be a revision on the setback distances of wind turbines from dwellings, schools and places of work as this is just another example of debris from a wind turbine be scattered much more than 500 metres.”

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