Dutch government officials have kicked off investigations into how two service personnel died after a fire broke out in a Vestas V66-1.75MW turbine.
Health and safety agency Inspectie SZW said it would examine whether any guidelines were breached at Deltawind’s 21MW Piet de Wit wind farm near Ooltgensplaat in the Netherlands.
The inquiry will take at least two months, it is understood. The two men, aged 19 and 21, died as a result of the fire in the turbine nacelle on 29 October. The developer called the loss a “tragic accident”.
It is thought to be the first multiple fatality at a European wind farm since an incident in Denmark in 1990 in which two men were also killed.
While it could not comment on the specific incident, the European Wind Energy Association said it was taking a leadership role in disseminating best practice on health and safety to members.
The lobby group has no pan-European data on health and safety and wind farms but a project is currently underway to collate information from member states.
The workers at Piet de Wit were conducting the second day of preventative maintenance on the 10-year-old machine. Initial reports blamed a short circuit for the fire, which took several hours to extinguish.
The technicians were employed by service contractor Bettink and had both been working at the company for a number of years.
Image: an eyewitness snapshot of the fire at the Piet de Wit turbine (Mick Broekman)