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Wind turbines shut down amid investigation into collapse

Officials have fenced off the area around the broken turbine. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

A company in Chatham-Kent, Ont. has shut down all 51 of its wind turbines as a precaution until an investigation reveals what caused one of the turbines to collapse last Friday.

The turbine in Raleigh Township, near the corner of Drake Road and the 16th Line, collapsed on itself.

Representatives from the company which owns the turbine, TerraForm Power, were at the site Monday inspecting the damage. The area has been blocked off with temporary plastic fencing.

“It’s a warning to me,” said Chatham-Kent Ward 2 Coun. Frank Vercouteren. “I’ve noticed that some of these turbines are pretty close to the road. That distance has to be more.”

Under investigation

Director of investor relations for TerraForm power, Chad Reed, told CBC News in an emailed statement that the cause is being investigated by a “team of experts.”

“We are making progress on the inspection and expect to complete it within the coming weeks. As a precaution, the facility will remain offline until the inspection is complete.”

Officials with TerraForm Power continue to investigate the cause of this wind turbine collapse. Environment ministry officials said the company hopes to have the site cleaned up within the week. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

The Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change are also investigating.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour said that an inspector and engineer attended the scene and issued no orders or requirements.

Ministry of Environment spokesperson Gary Wheeler said in an emailed statement to CBC News that his ministry is taking the incident “very seriously” and “will ensure that the company determines the cause of the incident.”

Reed said his company will provide more details on which company built the tower portion of the turbine once the investigation is complete.

CBC News is trying to determine whether CS Wind manufactured the tower components. The company has not responded to calls.

The turbine was originally constructed by Graham Construction of Calgary in 2009. It was owned by Raleigh Wind Power which brought the turbine online in January of 2011. TerraForm purchased Raleigh Wind Power in 2015.