The mysterious severance of a wind turbine blade may have been caused by a mechanical failure, an expert said.
The 213ft turbine at Conisholme in Lincolnshire was left wrecked by the incident, which saw one blade completely severed and another one damaged.
Local residents reported seeing a bright light on the morning it happened, prompting speculation that a UFO had caused the damage.
But Fraser McLachlan, chief executive of GCube, which insures more than 25,000 wind turbines worldwide, said that although it is unusual, this type of incident happens about five or six times a year.
“It does happen that a blade will sometimes just come off a machine for one reason or another,” he said. “The main reason is the blade may shear.
“We don’t normally see things like aircraft – or UFOs – hitting them. It’s usually a mechanical failure that causes the blade to separate from the main hub.”
The freezing weather was another possible cause of the breakage, he said, adding that it could cost up to £250,000 to repair.
Others believed there could be more to the incident than a technical fault.
Robert Palmer, 66, leader of East Lindsey District Council and member of Lincolnshire County Council, wants both authorities to investigate what happened. The turkey farmer from North Somercotes said he saw a bright white light with an orange edge as he drove close to the turbine on Sunday morning.
He said: “I would be very interested to find out what it was. If we are being looked at by other people, by other planets, it would be interesting to find out why they have chosen this part of the country. “I am not counting it out that it was a UFO.”