WAAY-TV’s 1000-foot tower collapses, kills three workers

September 16, 2003

The 1,000-foot tower used by WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Ala., collapsed Sept. 4, killing three workers.

Two victims, identified as Charles Pace of Tucson, Ariz., and Bryan Burkhardt of Robstown, Tex., died at the scene; the other, J.C. Dela Lama of Hollywood, Fla., died later in the hospital.

The three were working above 700 feet adding support and installing equipment when the tower, which the station leases from SpectraSite Communications in Irving, Tex., buckled. The deceased worked for SpectraSite Communications.

An investigator from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was on site to investigate the collapse of the tower. The tower, which was erected in 1976, received its most recent safety inspection in 2002. WAAY-TV used the tower, which was located on Monte Sano, to transmit its signal to the Tennessee Valley.

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