A controversial 90ft wind turbine has toppled following a night of gales.
The mast near Hatton, south of Peterhead, broke apart as 65mph gusts battered the north-east.
Its three blades were found scattered in a field yesterday morning.
The tower is one of two installed by Jim Anderson at his Ardiffery Mains home last year.
The project was approved by councillors despite concerns that the masts could interfere with radar equipment at Aberdeen Airport.
Mr Anderson had led a successful campaign just months earlier against proposals for three other turbines near the airfield he owns at Auchenten. He used a tractor with a digger attachment to gather the fallen blades yesterday but declined to comment on the incident.
Neighbour Willie Mitchell, whose home overlooks Mr Anderson’s land, said he noticed the collapsed mast yesterday morning. “It just goes to show how dangerous these things can be,” he said.
“It’s worrying because there are so many turbines in this area now. If someone had been walking by when this came down, it could have been very serious.
“You don’t often hear about turbines coming down like this, but I reckon it’s more common than you think.”
But Renewable UK, which represents the wind energy industry, said such incidents were rare.
A spokesman said: “It is important to learn from them and implement any lessons fully and promptly.”
The north-east was hit by gale-force winds throughout Tuesday. Gusts caused thick sandstorms near Fraserburgh, Banff and across parts of Moray, creating visibility problems for motorists. Yesterday, snowploughs were used to clear sand from roads around Lossiemouth and Forres.
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