Sunday, February 3rd 2013, 7:23 AM EST
An investigation into the collapse of the first turbine in Bradworthy, Devon, during a 50mph gale last weekend has revealed that bolts are missing from its base.
The turbine was initially thought to have been brought down by the wind, despite being designed to withstand winds of up to 116mph, but the new evidence could suggest a case of foul play, councillors said.
It came as a second, 60ft turbine was spotted "lying crumpled on the ground" just 18 miles away in Cornwall, on a farm owned by the family of a Lib Dem councillor.
Officials from Dulas, which installed the £250,000 turbine at East Ash Farm in Bradworthy in July 2010, and Health and Safety Executive representatives are investigating what caused it to collapse last weekend.
Local residents had campaigned fiercely against the installation of the Endurance Wind Power E-3120 50kW turbine, which was the first of its kind to be erected in the country, claiming it would spoil the landscape
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Margaret Coles, the chairman of Bradworthy Parish Council, revealed that an examination of the turbine had found that a number of bolts were absent from its base.
She said: "We know the bolts are gone but don't know what caused it. It was a windy night – we do suffer lots of high winds but you would have thought the structure would cope with that.
"People that end of the parish were woken up by the crash it made when it came down. Some people think the bolts had been removed from the turbine which is why it was brought down.
Click source to read FULL report from Nick Collins