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Injured crane operator ‘one lucky bugger’  

Credit:  Brett Boese | Post-Bulletin | August 11, 2014 | www.postbulletin.com ~~

GRAND MEADOW – An Elkhorn, Wis., man who was injured Friday when the crane he was operating fell over has been released from the hospital, according to Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi.

Matthew Yardley, 35, was airlifted to Rochester by a Mayo Clinic helicopter. The accident occurred as he was attempting to repair gear boxes on large wind turbines in the NextEra Energy Inc. site located about five miles south of Grand Meadow.

“One lucky bugger,” Amazi said.

Dawes Riggin and Crane Rental, where Yardley was employed, was hired by NextEra to perform repairs on the 43-turbine project.

Steve Freckmann, general manager of Dawes, said Monday that it remains “way too early” to know what went wrong, but Amazi said Friday that it appeared that an automatic shut down mechanism malfunctioned on the $5 million piece of machinery.

The area remains roped off as Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigates. Amazi said Monday that a larger crane must be brought in to remove the damaged crane from the scene.

Source:  Brett Boese | Post-Bulletin | August 11, 2014 | www.postbulletin.com

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