Shoreview, MN TV Tower Collapse, Sep 1971
SEVEN PERSONS KILLED IN TV TOWER COLLAPSE.
St. Paul, Minn. (AP) - Seven persons were killed and two injured when a 1,285-foot television tower collapsed.
The tower, built to hoist three antennae atop the three-legged structure in the St. Paul suburb or Shoreview, was nearing completion when it apparently buckled on one side. There was no immediate explanation as to why the tower fell.
Six ironworkers who were at the tower's 1,000 foot level when it collapsed were either hurled to the ground or ensnared in the web-like debris. A seventh, PRESTON COURTNEY, 58, Austin, Tex., was struck as he worked on the ground.
The other victims were identified as:
WAYNE BARNARD, 28, Roseville, Minn.
FRED CAMPBELL, 30, Bethany, Okla.
CHARLES BEDNAREYK, St. Paul.
WILLIAM J. DORRIAN, St. Paul.
DONALD BARTON, St. Paul.
JOHN MILLER, 24, Neosbo, Mo.
The workmen were about to haul a piece of the platform structure up to the top, but the new piece had not yet been lifted off the ground when the tower began to buckle, according to witnesses.
A workman near the base, BOB FLATIN, 24, Topeka, Kan., said one leg seemed to buckle just before the long structure collapsed.
"I was painting one of the antennae," FLATIN said.
"We had very little warning, it happened so fast."
Three bodies were found near the fallen tower. The four others were crushed beneath tons of twisted steel. It was several hours before workers with cutting torches were able to remove those bodies.
The injured men were engineers for WCCO-TV and were in one room of the transmitter building for the three stations sponsoring the tower.
STAN ALLISON, St. Paul, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released, while GEORGE GRIDER, also of St. Paul, suffered possible rib fractures and was listed in satisfactory condition.
The tower, building and land are the joint project of WCCO-TV, KSTP-TV and WTCN-TV, which formed a joint corporation known as Telefarm, Inc., to operate the tower.
John Sherman chairman of the board of Telefarm, said the main contractor was Dresser Industries, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, which retains ownership of the tower until it is completed.
Sherman said National Steel Tower Erectors, Muskogee, Okla., was erecting the tower.
Sherman estimated damages at more than $1 million.
Jefferson City Post-Tribune Missouri