EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News
A 74-year old windfarm worker has died after being stranded in deep snow in rural East Ayrshire.
The man and a 42-year old colleague were left without heat or power at the Afton wind farm site site near Craigdarroch Farm in New Cumnock.
According to local farmers, the men were working as security guards at the wind farm construction site.
It is believed that the generator supplying heat to their security cabin had cut out and that the older man had braved the blizzard of snow to try and repair it.
He did not return to the cabin and it is understood that the man – who has not been named – was exposed for several hours in the snow.
A police mountain rescue team later traced the pair after the alarm was finally raised on Sunday night.
The elderly man was then airlifted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but died a short time later.
The Health and Safety Executive has launched an investigation into the accident.
The new wind turbine is being financed by Infra Red Capital Partners, a global investment firm which has offices in London, with total investments in energy and infrastructure projects of some £10 billion.
Local residents in Ayrshire said Natural Power, which is based in Dumfries-shire is involved as a contractor to the Afton Wind development company and that the man who died was an employee of Farrans, the construction and engineering contractor.
Speaking exclusively to Scottish Energy News, David Robertson, the farmer at Craigdarroch Farm, said last night:
“The weather was absolutely atrocious last weekend – people shouldn’t have been out in the snow – especially the older chap.
“I was struggling all day in the snow drifts to try and get my sheep off the fields.
“We’ve been told the construction company was rushing against a deadline to try and get the turbine connected to the grid.
“And from what we know locally, the heater in security men’s hut had cut out and they had gone out in the snow to try and re-start it. It’s an absolute tragedy.”
A spokesman for Afton Wind Farm Ltd – which is financed by Infra Red Capital Partners – said last night: “We confirm that there has been a fatality in connection with the project. Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with the family of the deceased at this time.
“Health & Safety is taken very seriously by management and we are cooperating with the HSE and police in their investigations. In addition, we have also commenced our own independent investigation into the incident.”
24 Jan 2018