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[Towertalk] Two killed when television tower falls in western Nebraska

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Subject: [Towertalk] Two killed when television tower falls in western Nebraska
From: (Bryan Fields)
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 23:30:12 -0500
just saw this over on another wireless list.

NE - Two killed when television tower falls in western Nebraska

HEMINGFORD, Neb. (AP) - Two workers were killed when a 1,965-foot television 
tower collapsed Tuesday in a remote field as crews were working to strengthen 
the structure.

Three other workers were injured and taken to Box Butte General Hospital, said 
Gary Bauer with the Alliance Volunteer Fire Department. He said the injuries 
were not life-threatening.

The cause of the collapse was not known. The tower had been the tallest 
structure in Nebraska and one of the tallest in the world, more than 500 feet 
taller than the Sears Tower in Chicago and 700 feet taller than the Empire 
State Building in New York City.

Five people were working at the tower when it collapsed. The tower's owner, 
Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises of Rapid City, S.D., said two were repairing 
the roof to a small transmission building at the base of the tower. The other 
three had been hired to strengthen the tower so it eventually could be 
equipped with high-definition television transmission equipment.

Only about 50 feet of the tower remained standing and vehicles parked near the 
tower were crushed.

"At this point, we are, quite frankly, just numb," said Sharon Beal, a 
spokeswoman for Duhamel Broadcasting. "We regret the tragic deaths in 
conjunction with the work on the tower and extend our sympathies to the 

The tower was used to transmit the main signal for Scottsbluff television 
station KDUH throughout most of the Nebraska Panhandle. The ABC affiliate 
could only be viewed by cable television subscribers after the collapse. Beal 
said a replacement broadcast tower would be erected but no one could 
speculate as to how soon.

Jerry Dishong, KDUH station manager in Scottsbluff, said there was no apparent 
reason for the tower to fall, citing clear, calm weather conditions and no 
report of a collision with an aircraft.

The National Weather Service had recorded only a slight breeze of 3 mph and 
clear skies in the area at the time of the collapse.

Farmer Don Jespersen of Hemingford was windrowing a field of millet about a 
half mile away when he saw the collapse.

"I happened to glance up and saw the tower toppling over. It looked like the 
center section kind of leaned out first and the top fell down," the 
46-year-old said. "It seemed like everything was in slow motion. I just 
couldn't even believe what was happening."

Jespersen said he immediately drove to the scene and called 911 when he saw 
people were injured. His wife and sister-and-law covered the injured with 

"A couple of them was hurt pretty good," he said.

A small grass fire also was started by electrical wires that snapped when the 
tower fell, but the fire was immediately put out by firefighters from 
Alliance and Hemingford.

The tower, which was built in the late 1960s, stood alone in the middle of a 
pasture in Box Butte County, south of Hemingford and about 22 miles northwest 
of Alliance.

The tower was reinforced last year with new, larger guy wires in preparation 
for the addition of new high-definition television transmission equipment, 
said Monte Loos, operations manager for Duhamel Broadcasting.

Because of its height, the tower had seven levels of guy wires, Loos said.

In April, a Mississippi man was killed when a steel cable broke loose and 
knocked him from a 1,524-foot Nebraska Educational Television Network tower 
near Bassett.
Bryan Fields, KB9MCI
We could be way simpler if we didn't try to be so flexible.

        - Andrew Grover, ACPI maintainer on Linux-power.

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