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SDG&E helicopter drops section of Powerlink tower 200 feet  

Credit:  East County Magazine, eastcountymagazine.org 7 June 2011 ~~

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has announced that its air crane helicopter was involved in an accident today during construction activities for Sunrise Powerlink in the Imperial Valley. The Powerlink high-voltage transmission line is also under construction through several communities in East County.

“This morning a section of a transmission tower carried by the helicopter fell approximately 200- feet to the ground outside SDG&E’s Plaster City Construction Yard near the shoulder of the Evan Hewes Highway,” a media statement released by the company indicated. View a photo of the crash.

As a safety precaution, traffic controls were in place prior to the initiation of the tower lift and no one was injured, according to SDG&E. The tower section was damaged in the fall, however no other property or county facilities were damaged, SDG&E’s release stated.

“We take this incident very seriously and are taking immediate steps with the appropriate agencies, including the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration, to investigate what occurred today in order to ensure that this does not happen again,” the release continued, adding that the helicopter will not be participating in construction activities pending the investigation results.”Safety continues to be our number one priority,” SDGE concluded.

Source:  East County Magazine, eastcountymagazine.org 7 June 2011

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