Georgia TV Tower Demolition Drops Adjacent Tower
June 16, 2006
WFXL's 1,000-foot tower near Albany, Ga. was damaged two weeks ago when an Army helicopter crashed into it and cut one of its guy wires. Only one of the helicopter's occupants survived the crash. There was concern the tower would collapse and take down the nearby WALB tower, so the stations developed a plan to carefully drop the WFXL tower without disturbing the WALB tower. Unfortunately, even with a top demolition crew on site, the plan didn't work. Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, both towers were on the ground -- a pile of twisted steel.
The video from WFXL shows its tower coming down, leaning away from the WALB tower. However, as the WFXL tower hits the ground, the WALB tower starts falling, twisting and collapsing in on itself. During the sequence, engineer Bill Benton explained that the guy wires from the two towers were interlaced, crossing over one another. He said the cables on the WFXL tower had to be cut to avoid pulling down the WALB tower. It didn't work. Bill Williams, WALB chief engineer, said that it appeared one of the guy wires from the falling WFXL tower wrapped around a guy wire from the WALB tower and pulled it down.
Both stations are currently broadcasting at low power using antennas at the WALB studio in Albany. The video of the tower collapse is also available on WALB's Web site.