WAKKANAI, Hokkaido – Firefighters were left red-faced here after their hoses were too short to extinguish a fire in the turbine of a wind power generator in the area, it was revealed.
The incident happened at around 12:15 p.m. on Oct. 2 on the premises of the wind power generation company, Sarakitomanai Wind Power Co., in the city of Wakkanai, northern Hokkaido. According to company officials, on Oct. 1 they detected warning signs for their No. 2 wind turbine and suspended its operations at around 11 a.m. on Oct. 2 as a safety precaution.
Just about an hour after its termination, however, residents saw smoke coming from its central part, connecting the three fabric-reinforced plastic propellers and the steel body, and immediately contacted emergency services.
Three fire engines arrived at the scene, but after surprisingly discovering that their hoses were too short to reach the 66-meter-high wind turbine, they remained on site until the fire extinguished itself in about four hours.
To prevent possible injuries, the immediate area near the No. 2 wind turbine was temporary closed off to the public, but there were no reported injuries in the incident.
Police are still investigating the cause of the fire.
Sarakitomanai Wind Power Co. launched its wind power generation operations in the area in December 2001. The nine wind turbines generate electricity for approximately 10,000 households in the area per year.
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