Colony, MO TV Tower Collapse, Jun 1988


Colony, Mo. (AP) - A 2,000-foot TV tower collapsed Thursday, killing two maintenance workers and apparently trapping a third in the wreckage, police said.
"It's just a tangled pile of metal," said C. L. Harlan, a dispatcher with the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Macon. "They are getting cutting torches in there to try and cut it out."
The maintenance crew was working at about 500 feet when the tower as high as a 200-story building gave way around 10 a.m., authorities said.
The bodies of two of the workers were found within an hour of the collapse, the patrol said. Colony is about 25 miles from the Iowa and Illinois borders and 200 miles northwest of St. Louis.
The patrol said the cause of the accident was not immediately known. Winds were calm when the tower belonging to KTVO in Kirksville fell, said Kurt Sweeney, station news director.
The transmission tower went up in September and was one of the tallest in the nation, visible from more than 30 miles, authorities said. Jerry Hellman, KTVO general manager, said the workers were replacing more than 1,000 structural braces.
"I can't even venture a guess as to what happened," said Hellman.
"At this point, I don't know why it fell. It was very tragic that human life was lost."
Martha Huber, who lives about a quarter mile from the tower, said she looked out her window and saw the structure falling. It did not strike any homes in the mainly rural area but tore down several trees, witnesses said.
"I heard it and it sounded like a jet taking off," said Huber's sister, Elizabeth Huber.

Salina Journal Kansas 1988-06-03

Killed in the accident were:
VICTOR U. MACS, 23, Clearwater, S.C.
DON SADLER, 43, Tampa, Fla.