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Worker rescued in Hanover Turbine Fall

December 16, 2012

WHDH-7 NBC TV News reported on 12/14/12 that 30 or more rescue personnel contributed to the extraction of a fallen worker from a wind turbine tower in Hanover, MA. The accident is described in this report by Victoria Block, “Worker falls in wind turbine in Hanover.”

The rescue operation was very technical and dangerous. It involved men from the regional rescue team that was trained to conduct a rescue inside a wind turbine.

“He was inside the tower. He fell about 40 feet. Halfway down the tower there was a platform. He was caught on the platform. That’s why there were so many complications because it’s a narrow space that they had to do to get him out,” said Donald White.

It took about an hour and a half to stabilize the worker and to haul heavy lines and gear up inside the space.

In the Patriot Ledger, “Worker in good condition after fall from Hanover wind turbine” 12/14/12, Lane Lambert reported:

The 53-year-old man, who Hanover Fire Chief Jeffrey Blanchard identified as Ernest Ray, of Harwich, was taken to South Shore Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Blanchard said Ray was “conscious and stable” when rescue crews arrived on the scene around 9:20 a.m. Friday.

The turbine, 210 feet, is a 225 kw Lumus project at the wastewater treatment plant. CEO Sumul Shah is also involved with the projects in Fairhaven, Dartmouth, Scituate, Princeton, Charlestown, Deer Island, and Newburyport. The Hanover project was funded in part by a grant of $230,500 from the Renewable Energy Trust of the Mass Clean Energy Center (whose funds come from ratepayer surcharges).

The Hanover turbine has been in the news in recent weeks, with concerns about being able to get replacement parts from the manufacturer in India (Hanover wind turbine will take a little longer  by Mark Burridge in Wicked Local Hanover).

In an October article “Hanover wind turbine nearly ready to go,” Burridge noted the delays in commissioning the turbine:

Construction was set to begin in the fall of 2010. However, after a series of delays, the project was built earlier this year.

“The turbine was manufactured in India last fall. Language barriers, differences between U.S. and international electrical regulations as well as shipping delays are what have caused most of the delays on this project,” [Hanover DPW Director Victor] Diniak explained.

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