A giant wind turbine in Klondike III wind farm in Oregon has collapsed. This incident caused the fatality of a worker who was doing his routine inspection at the top of the structure when it suddenly fell. Another victim working inside the tower has incurred serious personal injuries and taken to Mid-Columbia Medical Center in Dalles after being hit by various objects from the falling structure. Graciously, the third worker at the bottom managed to escape from possible injuries or death.
Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/07/2007 -- According to Sherman County sheriff’s deputy Geremy Shull, the accident happened around 4 p.m. last Saturday. He said that the 242-foot-tall structure broke a little higher than the middle section of the tube that supports the blades. The names of the victims are yet to be identified but Shull said that the victim who died is a Goldendale, Washington resident and the other is from Minnesota.
Florida-based Siemens spokesperson Melanie Forbrick said that their company opted not to announce the names of the victims to pay respect to their families.
The wind turbine was fully erected but it was not yet been operated; the people working on it were maintenance people said Shull.
The untoward turbine collapse that resulted to fatality was recorded as the first occurrence in the history of Oregon but still, the probable cause of the collapse has not yet been established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which began to investigate the incident since Sunday.
The Klondike III wind farm project was operated by the PPM Energy in Portland. It was designed to produce 221 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply power in 96,000 homes. This was expected to be ready for operation later this year, Jan Johnson, a PPM spokesperson, said.
Only for this year, Oregon developers are set up in putting more wind turbines in the Columbia River Gorge in order to increase power production. These developments in the electric generation industry are foreseen to continue until 2008 or even later depending on the support that will be imparted by the Congress.
Meanwhile, Forbrick has made an affirmation that their company has never manufactured any wind turbine that collapsed since their company got into wind energy industry in 2004.
Oregon was recently ranked eight among states in the U.S. when it comes to wind-energy development as determined by the American Wind Energy Association.
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