Article Republished By Javier Troconis
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GLOUCESTER — No injuries were reported after a wind turbine lost its blade in Gloucester this morning.
Gloucester Fire Department responded at around 7 a.m. on Sunday, July 31 after it was discovered that one of three blades on a 492-foot wind turbine at Applied Materials on Dory Road fell off the turbine.
There were no reported injuries and no structural damage aside from the damage sustained in the turbine failure itself, Mayor Greg Verga and Fire Chief Eric Smith said in a statement.
The Gloucester Fire Department set up an approximately 450-foot collapse zone around the turbine as a precaution; as a result a portion of Great Republic Drive in the Blackburn Industrial Park was closed.
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“Due to the size of the turbine, the Gloucester Fire Department and the city of Gloucester are working closely with Applied Materials to establish an appropriate isolation area around the turbine, determine current hazards and concerns, and ensure the safety of the turbine and the area,” the statement said.
On Sunday afternoon, Applied Materials, which owns and operates the turbine, informed the city that the cause of the failure remains unknown but that multiple inspections of the turbine tower and remaining two blades identified no imminent structural concerns, the statement added.
Once the company provided written notification that the area could safely be reopened, Great Republic Drive was reopened to traffic. An exclusion zone remains in place around the tower, but the entirety of the exclusion zone is on Applied Materials property.
“Applied Materials reported that it appears from preliminary inspections that built-in safety mechanisms caused the turbine to shut down when an issue was detected and that the safety mechanisms functioned as designed to stop the turbine,” the statement said.
“Applied Materials reported the remaining blades of the turbine have been locked into place and that the blades are under far less stress than they are when they are operational.”
The city of Gloucester has a power purchase agreement with a separate, private company that operates two other wind turbines in the Blackburn Industrial Park, and the city works closely with the owners of those turbines to ensure inspections and maintenance are conducted regularly.
Missing a blade from one of the windmills which overlooks Route 128 in Gloucester. My unofficial understanding it fell off after midnight. No closeups area is blocked off. #boston pic.twitter.com/b5XWLNw9zJ
— Stanley Forman (@sjforman138) July 31, 2022
Breaking: Experts are inspecting wind turbine blades along 128 in Gloucester right now after one blade came off this morning…officials say no one was hurt but the incident has rattled residents wondering how that could happen in the first place #7News pic.twitter.com/NK9GManIzS
— Steve Cooper (@scooperon7) July 31, 2022
Blackburn industrial park closed after intershell taking right. Fire dept on scene, Gloucester police on scene, here’s a snaps I took of crashing turbine blade early am. #Gloucester ma #windturbine #turbineblade pic.twitter.com/9ReKvD7PKk
— NEMASSWeatherAlerts (@PeterLovasco) July 31, 2022
— Gloucester Times (@GDTnews) July 31, 2022
Blade falls off wind turbine in Gloucester https://t.co/hviyY5pLKy
— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) July 31, 2022