Wind farm shut down after turbine collapse

A general view of a wind turbine which collapsed at Screggagh wind farm, County Tyrone
A general view of a wind turbine which collapsed at Screggagh wind farm, County Tyrone

A major investigation has been launched after a 100-metre (328ft) tall wind turbine worth more than £2million collapsed on a Co Tyrone mountainside.

No one was injured when the giant structure unexpectedly buckled and hit the ground on Friday night, scattering debris across a wide area.

A picture of the windfarm where a wind turbine collapsed spectacularly on Friday night (Jan 2).'The destroyed turbine is third from the left in this photograph.

A picture of the windfarm where a wind turbine collapsed spectacularly on Friday night (Jan 2).'The destroyed turbine is third from the left in this photograph.

It was one of eight turbines on the Screggagh wind farm on Murphy mountain near Fintona in Co Tyrone.

Since then the wind farm has been shut until a full investigation takes place.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland said: “HSENI is aware of the incident and will be making inquiries into the circumstances.”

In a statement, director of Screggagh Windfarm Ltd Doreen Walker 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 Friday.

The collapsed turbine is the third one from left in the inset picture.

She added: “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 they have been working closely with the makers of the wind farm turbines, Nordex UK Ltd, “to ensure that the site has been made safe”.

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

She confirmed that the Screggagh wind farm “has been completely shut down since the wind turbine collapsed” and “will remain shut down until Nordex UK Ltd, the suppliers of the wind farm turbines, has completed a full investigation into the remaining seven wind turbines and confirms that they are safe to operate”.

Residents living close to the wind turbine said the rotor blades were spinning out of control on the evening the turbine buckled and the sound of the falling structure could be heard miles from the site.