A dog walker watched in horror as Storm Barbara blew the blades from a wind turbine – and they headed towards him.
Grandfather Ray Gansler was walking on the hills near Bacup, Rossendale, with his Staffordshire Bull Terrier Lucy at around 2.30pm on Friday.
High winds and heavy rain caused disruption to roads and buildings around the region on Friday afternoon.
Ray, 50, said: “I heard a noise that sounded like the squeak of a van and then I saw the blades of the turbine had come off and were coming towards me very quickly.
“I just hit the ground and covered Lucy. To me it seemed like it was coming close to me and then the wind caught it and smashed it into a field.”
One of the four 34.2m high wind turbines on land at Scar End Farm is now missing its three blades and central hub; they landed in a nearby field full of saplings.
Mr Gansler, of Weir near Bacup, said: “As the blades dug into the ground it didn’t half make a loud noise. It frightened my dog and it frightened me. It made such a loud bang and I didn’t know if the blades were going to come off.”
He raised the alarm with the owner of the land where the turbines are based and also contacted the police.
Mr Gansler said: “The turbine nearest the farm had switched off, but the other two were still spinning around at a rapid speed.
“I was worried that if another one broke off and landed on the other side of the hill there are houses nearby.
“When you see something like that coming towards you, you really think it is going to hit you.”
TGC Renewables applied for the wind farm at Scar End in 2012 and was initially rejected permission by Rossendale Borough Council following public objection.
That decision was overturned later that year on appeal by the planning inspector.