Powerlink transmission line falls for second time this week - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Powerlink transmission line falls for second time this week

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A tower being erected by a helicopter toppled Friday in the second accident this week involving the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line under construction in Imperial Valley, San Diego Gas & Electric reported.

As was the case with Monday's mishap, no one was hurt.

A helicopter was helping set up four towers near Plaster City, but the fifth toppled over around 8 a.m. Friday, according to SDG&E.

The 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink is being built to deliver electricity from the desert to San Diego County. Construction began last December after years of opposition by environmentalists and mountain residents worried about property values, views and safety.

The utility reported that an air crane helicopter assisting with the installation was grounded after a similar incident on Monday but was cleared to resume service Thursday.

"Lifting heavy pieces of equipment via helicopter requires the highest safety standards and procedures and all of our aerial lifts and moves are planned with safety zones below the helicopter for the entire route," said SDG&E President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Niggli.

"These recent incidents are unacceptable. We hold ourselves and the helicopter manufacturer accountable for safe construction practices and resolve to take steps ensuring that incidents like these will not happen again.

Erickson Air-Crane executives said they are working closely with SDG&E to investigate the cause of the accidents.

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