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Big crane topples at K2 wind farm

A massive crane at a wind farm south of Lucknow fell over as Wednesday morning as it was being moved, causing no injuries but possibly damaging the crane, K2 Wind spokesman Michael Sheehan said Thursday.

Six workers were on-site, including one driver in the cab and likely five spotters all in radio contact, Sheehan said. No one was injured and the 600-tonne crane, with a 122-metre boom, fell on the privately owned property, he said in a phone interview from Edmonton.

He said the incident happened about 11:40 a.m. when “one of three main turbine erection cranes working at K2 Wind accidentally overturned while crawling from one pad site to the next in wet conditions.”

The Ontario Ministry of Labour was notified, he said. “The exact cause of the accident is now under investigation.”

He said work stopped immediately at the site and hadn’t resumed Thursday while a company investigation heard from all workers involved. The company is co-operating with the Ministry of Labour, Sheehan said in a follow-up e-mail.

Construction on the 270 megawatt project involving 140 wind turbines began in July. The site should be feeding electricity to the grid in mid-2015, said Sheehan, who works for Capital Power, which with Pattern Renewable Holdings and Samsung are equal partners in the wind farm.

“K2 will be working closely with the project’s prime contractor, AMEC Black and McDonald to better understand this incident and we will both continue focusing on worksite safety,” Sheehan said in the e-mail.

The site is about 10 kilometres south of Lucknow, east of Town Line and Belgrave Road, he said.

Ministry of Labour spokesman William Lin confirmed a labour investigator was assigned to the incident. He said typically their investigations involve seeing if there are any immediate hazards, determining what led to the incident and if there are any health and safety violations.

He also confirmed there were no injuries to anyone and no ministry work orders have been issued as of yet and the investigation is ongoing.

The project is in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. The project’s website, http://k2wind.ca/, said the K2 Wind Farm will generate enough electricity to power 100,000 homes annually.