A mystery lies on the ground on the west side of Greensburg following an unexplained wind generator collapse on May 11 at 12:53 p.m.
The wind generator supplied power to the Kiowa County Memorial Hospital and was one of two units serving the hospital.
On May 11, a man was mowing grass for the city near the wind generator and decided to take a lunch break. As he sat in his pickup and was eating, the wind generator broke off at the first connecting level above ground and fell over, said Corey Newhold, maintenance manager for KCMH.
The man doing the mowing was not near the tower when it fell.
Insurance investigators came to Greensburg and did an on-site preliminary investigation into the cause of the collapse of the triple legged generator that stood 140 feet tall including the blades. Every part of the tower and turbine were inspected, the location of every bolt was carefully marked during the thorough investigation.
At this time, no information has been released about the collapse and what might have caused the collapse.
The generator had been in operation six years and had no problems. It passed inspection the morning of the collapse, Newhold said.
Newhold spoke with the witness who told him there was nothing unusual about the turbine operation. It appeared to be working normally and made no unusual sounds and gave off no smoke of any kind before the collapse.
There is security video and it showed the turbine working normally one minute then falling over the next, Newhold said.
The turbine was a supplemental energy supply for the hospital.
The Kiowa County Memorial County Hospital is the first LEED Platinum Certified Critical Access Hospital in the United States. It was built to replace the hospital that was destroyed by the EF 5 Tornado that destroyed 95 percent of Greensburg on May 4, 2007.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is an international building certification system that rates buildings on a point system that includes energy savings and other factors. Greensburg has several LEED certified buildings that were constructed after the May 4, 2007 tornado.
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