Bard 1 worker killed during construction

GERMANY: Construction has been halted at the 400MW Bard Offshore 1 after the death of an industrial climber while working on the project.

Bard produces a 5MW turbine
Bard produces a 5MW turbine

The 31-year-old rope access technician went missing at the project, which is 100 kilometres north west of the island of Borkum, on Wednesday.

After a major search operation, a  remote-controlled underwater robot found his body today close to a foundation pile, reported project developer and turnkey contractor, the Bard Group.

Divers have been flown in from Emden to retrieve the body when weather conditions are suitable, expected after about 19.00 this evening.

The worker was pulled under water when, for reasons that are not yet clear, a component came free and fell during work on a turbine foundation. A second worker was able to reach safety without injury, said the Bard Group today.

This is the second fatality at the project. On July 24th 2010, a 27-year-old diver lost his life while working from the Maersk Tender vessel, which had been chartered as a platform, according to a Danish Maritime Authority report (on 19th October 2011).

The current construction workers were all flown to shore last Wednesday after the latest accident occurred and have been offered pastoral care.

The Bard Group stressed that workers safety has highest priority, noting that all stages of construction are subject to detailed planning, safety evaluation and monitoring. The weather was relatively calm when the accident occurred, it added. 

So far, 30 of the planned 80 turbines at the site have been installed.

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