Library filed under Safety from Iowa

Wind catches blades, crashes turbine

Turbine components weighing 50-tons fell 246 feet to the frozen ground on Saturday (Feb 20, 2009) when the blades of a turbine under construction east of Waverly caught wind and started rotating at a speed reaching 60 rpm. The hub housing the generating components of the Cannon II turbine and the structure's three 177-foot blades collapsed after spinning for hours at the mercy of the wind, says Waverly Light and Power General Manager Diane Johnson. A gust caught the blades prematurely on Friday because, prior to the installation, they were not turned in a way that would have prevented them from catching wind until construction was complete, according to a press release issued by the municipal utility. "It could have spun for days," Johnson says. On Monday, as the mangled blades lay at the base of the tower, construction crews worked to dismantle the structure's top and middle sections to reinforce the turbine. Crew and neighbors were evacuated overnight until the structure collapsed under its own weight. Duration: 10 minutes
27 Aug 2011

Wind farm worker killed inside Iowa wind turbine

A NextEra wind-turbine maintenance worker has been killed while working on a project in Iowa. According to a statement released by the local sheriffs office, the worker fell while inside the tower of the Clipper Windpower 2.5MW Liberty turbine located at the Endeavor wind centre. Reports say he fell over 60 feet.
25 Aug 2011

Clipped turbine blade halts traffic

An eastbound coal train clipped a wind turbine blade hauled by a westbound locomotive stopped near the Main Street crossing in downtown Burlington, which halted train traffic for several hours early Thursday morning. BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said the incident happened about 2:15 a.m.
26 Mar 2011

Man falls inside turbine

Despite a fall of between 20 and 30 feet, the man who lost his footing on a ladder inside a wind turbine on Friday apparently was not seriously injured. The man's name has not been released by the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department. ...the worker slipped off a ladder and, although tethered by a safety harness, the harness apparently failed, and the man fell.
7 Nov 2009

Student succumbs during climb up turbine

A 60-year-old student succumbed Friday after losing conscousness during a wind turbine climb with his classmates at the Estherville campus of Iowa Lakes Community College Friday morning. The individual was in the middle of his assent when he became unconscious, according to those on the scene. ...The male student was transferred by ambulance to the hospital where he died.
29 Aug 2009

Wind crashes Waverly turbine

A 50-ton structure fell 246 feet to the frozen ground on Saturday when the blades of a turbine under construction east of Waverly caught wind and started rotating at a speed reaching 60 rpm. The hub housing the generating components of the Cannon II turbine and the structure's three 177-foot blades collapsed after spinning for hours at the mercy of the wind, says Waverly Light and Power General Manager Diane Johnson. A gust caught the blades prematurely on Friday.
25 Feb 2009

Part of wind turbine breaks and lands in open field

Part of a wind turbine under construction broke apart Saturday morning. The problem started Friday when construction crews were installing a second wind turbine for Waverly Light and Power. During the process, a construction error caused the rotor and blades to start moving in the wind prematurely - spinning uncontrollably and unable to stop until it broke.
21 Feb 2009

An unexpected problem has occurred with construction of second wind turbine

The construction company, ICS of North Dakota, lifted the wind turbine rotor assembly, to which the blades attach, 246 feet high into place late yesterday afternoon. After it was lifted it was discovered the blades were not ‘feathered' or turned properly so they could not catch the wind. In the position the blades are in, the wind caught the blades causing them to spin. When this was discovered, the Bremer county sheriff's department was notified and all personnel were evacuated, including two homeowners who were outside of the recommended danger zone.
21 Feb 2009

Fines for deadly Worth County windfarm accident

A North Dakota based construction company is facing three proposed penalties following a deadly Iowa wind farm accident last October. ..."The employer did not ensure the all terrain fork truck operators were competent and capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards." IOSHA claims Wanzek "did not instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations.
30 Dec 2008

Worker burned atop wind turbine

The worker is an employee of Vestas, a wind turbine manufacturer. A spokesman with that company said the incident was under investigation and details would be provided when they became available. Olavarria said the worker was outside the turbine in front of its nose when the explosion and fire occurred. It's not clear what caused the explosion or what burned, but the turbines do have lubricating oil inside, she said.
3 Dec 2008

Wind power: not just stupid, but dangerous

Last week the old feeder drove through NW Iowa. My route used to offer pleasant scenery most of the way from the feedlot to my destination. I get off of I-29 at Onawa and take the county blacktops to Arnolds Park. For the last 10 years, a growing part of the drive has been through a wind farm. Its like driving through a hellish, whirling machine. Almost everyone agrees that these monstrosities are hideous eyesores. Nobody with any sense of the rural aesthetic wants them anywhere near where they live. ...Now the scenic Iowa roads between Galva and Peterson are studded with the ugly contraptions as far as the eye can see. Perhaps portending worse to come.
6 May 2008

Truck driver sends utility pole into restaurant

The Sac County, Iowa Sheriff's office says they're investigating what caused a semi to start a chain reaction accident that sent a utility pole into an Early, Iowa restaurant. Authorities say 38 year-old Glen Forbes was driving a trailer loaded with wind turbine blades when the rear steering malfunctioned.
3 May 2008

Cause of turbine fire still under investigation

Officials from Florida Power and Light Energy have teamed with the manufacturer of wind turbines in an attempt to learn what started a fire that destroyed a turbine Oct. 3 at the Hancock County Wind Farm. ..."We have a large number of these units," said Florida Power and Light spokesman Steve Stengel. "It has never happened before, so we believe it is a very isolated incident."
12 Oct 2007

Wind turbine burns near Garner (update)

A wind turbine south of Garner burned Wednesday morning causing two of the blades to fall off. ...He said the fire burned for half an hour to 45-minutes before the blades fell off. “When the blades fell, there was all kinds of debris flying all over the place,” he said.
3 Oct 2007

Gusts Topple Over Wind Turbine

AMES, Iowa -- Wind turbines generate power, but one was rendered powerless when it was knocked over by wind Friday. Nearly 800 MidAmerican Energy customers were without power on Friday morning in Wright County and school administrators had to cancel classes. There was a flicker of lights before the 100-foot tower supporting a wind turbine came crashing to the ground.
8 Dec 2006

Firemen climb 213-ft tower in rescue

Two electrical workers were treated and released at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center last week after they were rescued following a fire at one of the MidAmerican Energy turbines just south of Schaller.
7 Dec 2005

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Iowa&p=4&topic=Safety
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