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Blade falls off 500-foot-tall wind turbine in Gloucester

The Gloucester Fire Department said the wind turbine experienced a "mechanical failure."

Many Gloucester residents were confused Sunday morning as they woke up to find a nearby wind turbine missing one of its blades.

The Gloucester Fire Department said in a news release Sunday afternoon that one of three blades had fallen off the wind turbine at Applied Materials on Dory Road in the Blackburn Industrial Park. No one was injured.

The turbine is 492 feet tall, and is owned and operated by Applied Materials, the fire department said.

The fire department said the incident was a “mechanical failure” of the turbine, and that they responded to a call about the blade falling off around 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

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Applied Materials released a statement Sunday evening.

“Overnight a blade detached from the wind turbine located on the Applied Materials site. The onboard controls immediately responded and placed the turbine in a safe mode. There were no injuries and little damage on the ground.

The remaining components of the turbine, including the tower and remaining blades, are intact and secure, and will undergo a complete inspection by the turbine maintenance vendor.”

Applied Materials also said a full investigation of the incident is underway, but that it will take some time to complete. It said an incident like this has never happened with the Gloucester turbine before.

The fire department said it is working with Applied Materials to determine any other hazards and ensure safety in the area of the turbine.

Applied Materials is a global supplier of equipment, services, and software for the manufacturing of semiconductor chips. It is based in Santa Clara, California, and has a factory at 35 Dory Rd., #80 in Gloucester.

Applied Materials was not immediately available for comment.

The fire department said more information about the broken turbine will be released soon.

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