Part of a wind tower under construction collapsed this morning, injuring two workers, according to the Rochester Fire Department.
[Note: According to Ron Wenaas of Wenaas Communications, in a press release on behalf of Renewable Energy SD, the injuries occurred when a tower section being prepared on the ground rolled on to the workers.]
The two were evacuated from the accident site southwest of Rochester by medical helicopter. No other information about their injuries or conditions was available.
Gold Cross ambulance and the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene near Salem Corners. The workers were not trapped, despite initial reports.
The collapse happened near the intersection of Olmsted County Road 117 (40th Street Southwest) and Olmsted County Road 104. Authorities closed the scene this morning, allowing no access.
A crane was supposed to erect the 160-foot high turbine this morning, but only about 100 feet of it had been erected when the accident happened.
The turbine was to generate electricity at the rural home of Don Burns, and was being installed by Renewable Energy SD of Excelsior, which sells, installs and maintains small wind turbines in the Midwest. They use turbines made by two companies in Kansas and New Jersey.
Renewable Energy has 86 turbines under construction right now in southern and western Minnesota, including in Eyota and Utica.
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