POPULAR walking routes around a wind farm remain closed as engineers continue to probe why a huge blade became dislodged from a towering turbine last week.
No-one was hurt during the incident - which occurred at about 3pm last Friday at the EDF-run Park Spring Wind Farm near Grimethorpe - but ramblers have been urged to avoid the area while debris is removed from the site.
Little Houghton Parish Council’s Kevin Osborne, who was at the site an hour after the incident, said: “I arrived at the same time as an EDF engineer who had come to assess the damage.
“I could see the blade laying in the field and parts of it that were dangling from the turbine itself.
“There was a lot of fibre glass debris in the field and I think it was a stroke of luck that the wind wasn’t blowing the other way, otherwise it would have been blown into the road or onto the footpath.
“Thankfully no-one was hurt but it could have been a lot worse.”
The turbines were built in 2015 and help generate almost nine megawatts of energy which can power up to 5,000 homes.
All three turbines are currently shut down while engineers assess the damage.
“I have written a letter to EDF to ask that this matter be investigated further to prevent any other incidents from occurring,” Kevin added.
“The pathway that passes by the site is the only walkway from Grimethorpe to the ASOS warehouse and I don’t want any workers or members of the public to be put at risk on their daily commute.”
In his letter, Kevin has urged EDF to make the cause of the incident public after learning that the company shares this information only with the manufacturer of the turbine and the certification agency.
He hopes that by making the information public, it will help ease local residents’ safety worries.
“Personally I find it a bit worrying that something like this has happened just six years since the turbines were built,” he said.
“I would expect them to last 20 or more years, not less than ten.
“These turbines should be able to handle all the British weather throws at them and I am worried for the residents who live nearby or walk by the turbines that another incident will occur, and that debris may fall into the road or hurt someone.”
A spokesperson for EDF said: “On March 12 there was a blade failure on one turbine at our Park Spring Wind Farm which has three turbines in total.
“We’ve cordoned the area off with fencing and nearby public footpaths have been closed to ensure people’s safety.
“We would like to thank the local community for their co-operation.
“EDF is working closely with the turbine manufacturer, GE Renewable Energy, to find out the root cause of the incident.
“All turbines remain switched off.”