A worker fell more than 12 stories from the top of a wind turbine in Kansas, and was conscious and talking when emergency personnel arrived, authorities said.
The worker fell in an accident on a Sunday morning, landing on his back in the mud at the bottom of the 126-foot turbine, according to the Pratt County Sheriff’s Office.
“I didn’t expect to find this when we got out here. Falls from that kind of height normally don’t come out this well,” Pratt County Sheriff Vernon Chinn told Wichita station KAKE.
The man has been repairing a blade on the turbine in a wind farm field a few miles southeast of the small town of Pratt, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. He spoke when rescue personnel when they arrived, the office said.
Another worker also fell at the height of 126 feet and was suspended by his harness.
After a few minutes, the second worker was able to get free and lower himself into a construction basket and then back to the ground, according to the sheriff’s statement. It wasn’t clear how far he fell.
The worker who fell to the ground was hospitalized in Wichita, about 75 miles away, with serious injuries.
The Sheriff’s Office said the workers were employed by General Electric, but that company told KAKE the injured man was an employee of WindCom, a Houston-based service company that repairs blades made by its parent company, Brazil-based Tecsis.
General Electric told KAKE it was investigating the incident.