Sadly, more tower fatalities. Updated 7:47 on 2/4/2014


Updates and more links found;

http://www.theet.com/news/cell-tower-collapse-kills-local-firefighter-mike-garrett/collection_c6410cac-8c7d-11e3-b599-001a4bcf887a.html 

http://www.firefightersworldwide.com/2014/02/wv-lodd/

http://mobile.firehouse.com/news/11305007/nutter-fort-wva-firefighter-michael-garrett-killed-during-rescue-attempt-at-tower

Update from Wireless Estimator! What they say in Wireless Estimator: Fallen climbers are: Kyle Kirkpatrick, 32, from Hulbert, and Terry Lee Richard, Jr., 27, of Bokoshe. They passed at 11:37 a.m. on Saturday according to West Virginia State police. The deceased firefighter, Michael Dale Garrett, 28, was from Clarksburg, W. Va. God bless them all, the climbers and the firefighter for the rescue attempt!

One climber was about 60′ AGL with 2 others, and the other that passed was working at 20′ AGL when the tower came down., on a 270′ SBA tower. They were replacing the diagonals with heavier diagonals. Two of the workers on the ground called 911 and started to free their friends! Firefighters from the Summit Park Volunteer Fire Department and the Nutter Fort Fire Department along with six other departments responded to the scene. They identified that two of the techs employed by S&S Communications Specialist, Inc. of Hulbert, Okla had passed. While they were on the scene they noticed the second tower coming down. That is when the firefighter was injured. He passed later, either on the way to or in the hospital while being treated. The other 2 climbers were sent to Ruby Memorial Hospital. Update: From Wireless Estimator on 2/2/2014 http://www.wirelessestimator.com/breaking_news.cfm

Sadly, we have a loss that  happened in West Virginia while making repairs to a tower on Saturday. A tower collapsed while a crew was working on it. Sadly, 3 men have passed and a fourth man is in critical condition.

Two of the four the tower climbers died on the scene and  then a fireman died when a smaller, second tower collapsed while they were working the rescue.

Our prayers go out to all of them and their families.

http://www.wboy.com/story/24608973/two-dead-three

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/west-virginia-cellphone-tower-collapse-kills-3-1.2520139

http://wajr.com/common/more.php?m=15&r=1&item_id=18631

http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201402010058

Update: There was another fatality, link below, a climber was working alone, responding to a call. Details below and we all know better! If you were climbing decades ago, chances are you may have done something like this because we are so overconfident. Now we know better!

http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1001913#.Uu5YX_ldUVA 

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22 comments

  1. […] Another fallen climber, this time working on a cell tower in Summit Park, he was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital with a head injury and they say he is in stable condition. There is no farther update that I can find. No word on who he was working for. Apparently this happened Friday, September 11. This is sad news for West Virginia, to have another accident but this seems to be turning out better than the tower collapse 18 months ago.  […]

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  2. First I would like to say, my prayers go out to the men and the families involved and I feel deeply about the impact on the children. Now I’m not saying this holds true of the men lost nor the company they were employed by. But I must say, after 33 years of tower climbing, the tower owners, contracting companies and the carriers have a responsibility in this too. I have seen what used to be and what is now. To put contractors fighting against each other, paying lower wages, cutting any corner possible to get the bids lower and lower to win a job, the men are pushed to hurry and meet usually unrealistic timelines and payouts. I am only speculating, but is it possible that to save money on a pre-con visit to get measurements and shop fabricating ahead of time, perhaps removing bracing and sending it to the ground for field fabricating? It is a sure fire way to get the costs down low and win a bid, but again, speculating it may have but what weakened the tower and caused the collapse.

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    • That is why I put the links in the article, for you to farther research. I only gave you what I had at the time. I will not comment on the Human error because I know of one specific fatality where there was a flaw in a step bolt. I really don’t think that was human error.

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  3. This is the worst case scenario. It makes me cringe to hear this knowing how this has a ripple effect through the families. What a tragedy. So sad to hear.

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      • Very sad, my prayers go out to their families. I think work at heights/rescue training is always developing, but there needs to be buy in from the owners of these companies, through the managerial structure, to the employee, in a safety culture that is non-negotiable.

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    • Thank you for the kind words. Let’s hope we can learn from this so it never happens again. On both the accident for the tower collapse and perhaps how to safely rescue people from fallen steel with another accident about to happen.

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