Man dies in wind tower fire

November 11th, 2005

wind sunset.jpg

In the STrib, a bizarre story:

Man dies in wind tower fire in southwestern Minnesota

SLAYTON, Minn. — A South Dakota man died and two people were injured Friday in a wind tower fire in southwestern Minnesota.

The Murray County sheriff’s office received a call just before 10 a.m. reporting the fire at a wind tower east of Chandler, and that one person had fallen.

Benjamin James Thovson, 26, of Sioux Falls, S.D., died at the scene. He fell about 210 feet, Deputy Randy Donahue said. The other two were able to climb down and escape, but were taken to a local hospital.

When help arrived, Donahue said, “the wind generator was engulfed in flames.”

The tower is owned by Dean DeGreeff, of Chandler, who is part of an eight-person private ownership group called East Ridge Wind Farm.

The three people on the tower Friday worked for Energy Maintenance Service LLC, based in Gary, S.D. They were installing a Suzlon Wind Energy Corp. wind turbine, the companies said in a statement.

According to at least one report, they were replacing a bolt when the fire started The Daily Globe of Worthington said. Donahue told the newspaper the fire resulted from the crew’s work.

Energy Maintenance Service and Suzlon said they were cooperating with federal, state and local authorities in the investigation


Information from: The Daily Globe,

wind ems crew.jpg

This is an EMS crew installing two turbines for two brothers at the Springer farm the summer before last. It’s a dangerous job — on this installation, the rotor wouldn’t sit right on the hub and they had to take it off but it got stuck, and the machinations they went through up in the air… and this is a low tower … hanging by the harnesses, upside down, no thank you… If I can get the camera working, I’ll post photos of that.

Leave a Reply