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Sabotage rumours follow Bradworthy wind turbine collapse

By This is NorthDevon  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

  • The collapsed wind turbine in the field at East Ash Farm on Sunday morning, shortly after it fell.

Comments (13)

The collapse of a 35-metre high turbine near Holsworthy has sparked rumours over sabotage by anti-turbine protestors.

The turbine at East Ash Farm, in Bradworthy, collapsed in the early hours of Sunday morning and both the installers of the turbine Dulas Ltd and the Health and Safety Executive have confirmed investigations are underway.

The proliferation of turbines in the Bradworthy area means there is a lot of ill feeling towards the structures and the parish council has a policy of refusing each turbine application that is brought before them as consultees

Margaret Coles, the chairman of Bradworthy Parish Council, said that there have been a number of rumours flying around the area since the incident happened.

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She said: “People that end of the parish were woken up by the crash it made when it came down. Some people think the bolts had been removed from the turbine which is why it was brought down. Others have said they saw charring on the turbine so they think it caught fire or was set fire to.

“But we are not experts, we don’t know what happened and we want to find out. I think Torridge District Council should be investigating it too because they are the authority who grant permission to these turbines. They should want to find out more about the safety of them before they make further decisions on turbine applications.”

But Torridge District Council has confirmed it won’t be investigating the incident as the turbine is not a building and so cannot be investigated for contravening building regulations.

TDC spokesman Ian Hayter said: “If the turbine had been half blown down and was considered dangerous to the public then building control may have gone out to the site but as it is we haven’t and we haven’t been contacted about it.”

Another Bradworthy Parish Councillor Keith Tomlin thinks the collapsed turbine is very concerning considering a similar model collapsed in Shropshire last year.

He said: “This is the most common type of turbine approved or in operation around here which leads to concerns about their safety.

“Short answer is that these turbines are designed to withstand winds of 116 mph (ref Endurance website) and the after-cast winds for this area for Saturday night were 50 mph according to the Met Office.”

Dulas confirmed the turbine did not catch fire and they have never experienced a similar incident.

They did not want to comment further at this stage.

The police confirmed they have not been involved with the collapsed turbine except to deal with sightseers at the scene who were blocking the road.

Email your photos of the collapsed wind turbine to emma.glanfield@localworld.co.uk

VIDEO: The wind turbine at East Ash Farm before it collapsed:

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  • Wasteofmoney  |  February 05 2013, 10:01AM

    @ nocaresgiven If anybody needs to get a life - it is you! We live there and you probably don't and Endurance have confirmed that it wasn't sabotage at all! What goes round, comes round! You really need to keep up with the facts yourself! Ciao!

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  • gottalovecows  |  February 02 2013, 10:05PM

    This is FACT. There was NO sabotage, NO fire, NO melting, NO awakening of neighbours, NO danger to traffic. Tis was all fabricated by the press. The bolts holding the tower sheared off in the highest gusting winds Bradworthy has known in many years. A large engineering mistake. Nothing more and nothing less. Unfortunately this is too boring for the papers but 100% fact.

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  • nocaresgiven  |  February 02 2013, 2:32PM

    HAHAHAHAHHA...so funny watching you all get so wound up about something you know squat about...unlucky chucks..winge and moan all you want,they'll be a new one up in no time and theres nothing you can do about it. Reason why its a possible sabotage,is because you should be careful what you write on Facebook (hope you see this).....Don't run your mouths till you know the facts. Guessing half of you don't even live in Bradworthy yet you just want to stick your nose in..get a life.CIAO.

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  • Wasteofmoney  |  February 01 2013, 9:39AM

    So they think it may be sabotage by anti-turbine protestors? What would be the point? The insurance would cover a new one, we would have to pay for it and a new one would last longer, giving extended visual impact... If anybody would benefit from the damaged turbine, then it would be the landowner... He would get a brand new machine, lose three years of depreciation, the new one might last an extra three years and he would win, win, win... Furthermore, he would be the only one with access to switch off the turbine whilst the bolts are attacked and thereby reducing the obvious danger factors... Maybe the North Devon Journal would like to investigate that possibility, rather than trying to blame those who already have to suffer the invasion of these industrial and ineffective monstrosities?

    |   2
  • Vindpust  |  February 01 2013, 2:38AM

    It's beginning to sound like a Dale Vince story. The multi-millionaire 'hippie wind tycoon' told the press that the catastrophic turbine failure blade failure at his Conisholme wind power station in 2009 might have been due to a UFO: "It was Mr Vince's willingness to consider paranormal explanations that drew attention to the UFO theories, and he told the Telegraph he was disappointed by the results [of the tests which showed that bolts attaching the blades had failed]." Little comfort to people who live close to massive turbines with 40 to 60m long blades; the latest 61.5m blades now being built weigh nearly 18 tonnes. Broken blades, or pieces thereof, have travelled hundreds of metres in many previous blade failures. As most people with any knowledge of the wind industry know, it is never UFO's, little green men or sabotage by low-flying NIMBY's on broomsticks which are responsible for the frequent failure of turbine blades and the occasional collapse of towers. It is the more mundane story of poor design, defective construction, material failure, lightning strike and poor maintenance (permutate any combination).

    |   8
  • archaeopteryx  |  January 31 2013, 8:41PM

    Glory hallelujah, that's a start. Many don't like the looks, others don't like the noise, birds don't like the blades, I hate paying for them, they substitute NO conventional power source, and every indication is that they don't even save the fuel that corresponds to the fictitious kWhrs they get paid for. Good riddance.

    |   5
  • AntiWinsor  |  January 31 2013, 8:16PM


  • sandman18  |  January 31 2013, 7:37PM

    Bet it was Doctor Who with his sonic screwdriver !!

    |   2
  • rolandsmith  |  January 31 2013, 6:32PM

    More likely to be cattle eating nuts

    |   6
  • What__if  |  January 31 2013, 6:02PM

    i've heard it was the local sheep eating the bolts

    |   6