Last weekend in Esbjerg, Denmark, a defective axel caused a 120-foot turbine to throw off all of its blades; with one slamming into a power transformer. This was followed by an incident this week in southwestern Sweden when another turbine — this time one from Vestas — threw off a blade that landed on a hiking trail.
Note to self: Be aware of turbine blades when hiking in Sweden.
It's worth noting that accidents of this type of exceedingly rare. Since 2000, there have been only 27 incidents in Denmark of turbine blades coming loose. However, as the rate of construction increases dramatically for this source of clean power, the frequency of turbine inspections is also coming under scrutiny. Denmark recently passed a law this year requiring inspections to take place at least once a year; and the wind turbine industry in Sweden has now proposed setting up a commission to investigate incidents.
Let's hope attention to accidents like these isn't something that goes unnoticed by the growing wind industry here in the States.
Note: Video above is from a turbine that malfunctioned in Denmark in early 2008.