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Radio Tower Accidents, Mishaps, and Misfortunes

Useful - and Sometimes Deadly


Radio Tower Accidents, Mishaps, and Misfortunes
Radio towers are nothing to mess around with. Even though they are constructed to be tough and resilient, they also need maintenance and are sometimes the target of other peoples' weird obsessions.

Bad Day on the Job

A tragic radio tower death occurred on October 13, 2011 in Newton, Massachusetts. A worker doing maintenance and adding a new antenna pole and safety ladder fell 500 feet to his death from the communications tower which is a landmark on Route 128.

Even When You Buckle Up For Safety

April 13, 2011 two construction workers in Colburn, Indiana fell 340 feet to their deaths when their harnesses failed. Investigators say there was a malfunction with a parallel support device that was attached to the tower.

Wrong Way to Get High

March 8, 2011. In Oak Park, Michigan police were called when repair men found a dead body on a small platform near the top of a 1,000 foot radio tower. The man had only a T-shirt and underwear on and there were no signs of violence. Was he put there? Or, did he climb up there himself in some sort of bizarre suicide-by-exposure bid? And why that high on a radio tower?

...Because Towers Are Not Green

On September 8, 2009 two radio towers in Everett, Washington were toppled by an eco-terrorist group. A neighbor who called 911 told the dispatcher someone attacked the towers with a bulldozer. According to breitbart.com: "A sign bearing the letters ELF was found near the towers, said Andy Skotdal, general manager of KRKO Radio in Everett, about 25 miles north of Seattle. The Earth Liberation Front is a loose collection of radical environmentalists that has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks since the 1990s."

It Was Fun While It Lasted

On November 18, 2004 a BASE Jumper died after plunging from a radio tower. The jumper dove off of WXPT's tower (Mix 104.1), an '80s-formatted station in Minneapolis. Inside Radio wrote: "WCCO radio reports two people tried the jump from a 1000-foot tower - and one man's chute didn't open."

Papa FM's Tower Obsession

The man who invented FM Radio, Edwin Armstrong (1890–1954), had bizarre habits and lived a life that ended tragically. Armstrong loved radio towers and was prone to climbing them. He once even climbed to the top of the 450-foot RCA radio tower on top of the RCA Building in New York City and stood on the very top - absolutely infuriating the head of RCA at the time, David Sarnoff. Armstrong – who invented FM in 1933, committed suicide in 1954 by walking out of a high-rise building's window and falling to his death.

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