Last Friday, a Vestas wind turbine in Denmark was caught on video blowing apart in high wind conditions. It's been reported that the braking system failed on the unit causing the blades to speed out of control.
In August 2007, a catastrophic failure at the Klondike III wind farm in Oregon killed one person and injured another. Preliminary reports found the turbine went into "over speed operation" before collapsing.
These failures were two of several in the last six months. Others include:
1) Fenner blade break (NY)
2) Turbine blade shredded (PA)
3) Turbine burns (Iowa)
4) Steelwinds wind farm disabled (NY)
5) Turbine collapse (UK)
Six months ago, Business Week published "The Dangers of Wind Power". The article opened with: "As wind turbines multiply around the globe, the number of dangerous accidents is also climbing, causing critics to question overall safety." As developers race to install turbines closer and closer to where people live, the cost of such accidents are certain to grow. Still, wind proponents continue to press for limited setbacks from residences.