Huge wind turbine blade falls in Ocotillo

POSTED: 07:38 AM PDT May 21, 2013 
OCOTILLO, Calif -

Hundreds of wind farms around the world have slowed operations after huge turbine blades fell in Southern California and Iowa.

U-T San Diego says a 170-foot blade fell last week at a wind farm in Ocotillo, 70 miles east of San Diego.

The paper says turbine-maker Siemens confirmed Monday that it's sent a team of experts there to determine what happened and whether it's related to an April incident in central Iowa when the same type of blade snapped off.

Siemens also says it's curtailing operations for turbines with the B53 blade type around the world.

The estimated 700 turbines - most of them in the U.S. - will mostly continue operating but at slower speeds. However, the Ocotillo unit is completely shut down.