State rep. requesting investigation into toppled wind turbine

A wind turbine collapsed at Salty Brine Beach in Narragansett. (photo: Kim Kalunian/WPRI)

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — After an Eyewitness News investigation in April revealed a toppled 100-foot wind turbine was “missing bolts” for nearly a year, a state lawmaker is calling for a House Oversight Committee investigation.

State Rep. Jason Knight, D-Barrington, said he was livid after our report revealed nothing was done to make repairs to the wind turbine at Salty Brine beach before its collapse.

A public records request uncovered an email from an inspection company sent to two R.I. Department of Environmental Management employees warning of structural concerns to the lattice tower. DEM has admitted the missing bolts combined with a March storm caused the collapse.

Knight is a member of House Oversight and told Eyewitness News he wants the committee to investigate the collapse. Specifically, he said he wants to find out who knew there were structural concerns and why were repairs never made.

DEM said in a previous statement, “we are holding the contractor accountable and assessing the appropriateness of personnel action on the state side.”

DEM did not respond to requests for a comment Thursday and have not said if any personnel action has been taken.