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Man hurt after falling from wind turbine in Pratt still hospitalized

(KWCH)
Published: Jul. 3, 2016 at 10:16 AM CDT
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UPDATE: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says a man hurt after falling from a wind turbine in Pratt County is still in the hospital.

OSHA says the 41-year-old fell about 120 feet on July 3, while conducting maintenance on the wind turbine.

The man and another employee for Wind Composite Services Group LLC were working from a suspended work platform when it dropped.

The second worker was suspended by his lifeline and was able to lower himself down to the platform.

OSHA will be investigating to find out if there were safety violations.

Wind Composite Service Group LLC is based out of Cunningham, Kansas.

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Sheriff Vernon Chinn says the accident happened around 9:30 Sunday morning.

According to a news release from Chinn, crews were told the General Electric worker had fallen about 126 feet and landed on his back in the mud while doing repairs on a wind generator. According to the release, the worker was conscious and talking with rescue personnel when they arrived.

A second worker was trapped for a brief period of time. He was hanging from his harness at approximately the same height as the worker who fell.

The second worker was able to free and lower himself into the construction basket and then down to the ground.

Chinn says the injured worker was transported to a Wichita area hospital. The extent of his injuries is not clear. Chinn says the identity of the worker will not be released at this time.

The workers were repairing one of the blades on a wind generator when the injured worker fell.

Chinn, who has served in law enforcement for more than two dozen years, says Sunday's accident is a first for him.

"(I've been) sheriff for 25 years. It's the first incident I've ever responded to where we've had a fall from a height anywhere near that. I've never worked heights or incidents like that before," Chinn says.

Chinn says his office is finished investigating what happened since it doesn't appear that anything criminal occurred. Moving forward, he says General Electric will ultimately figure out what happened.

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Pratt County Sheriff Vernon Chinn says emergency crews are responding to a workplace accident on a wind farm southeast of Pratt.

Chinn says one person fell more than 100 feet at the wind farm. They were taken to the hospital.

One other person is down safely and was not injured.

The accident happened six miles south and four miles east of Pratt.

We expect an update from Sheriff Chinn later today and will bring you those details as soon as we get them.