KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Mo. reported a tragic accident at a tower owned by TFM Communications near Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday afternoon. Two workers installing a replacement ENG receive antenna as part of the Sprint-Nextel 2 GHz relocation project on the tower died when the line holding the bucket they were riding in failed while they were 500 to 800 feet above ground. The cylindrical radome for the antenna is pictured in the articles.
On the KSHB Web site, Mike Cooney, director of engineering for Entercom, eulogized one of the workers, “He was everybody’s friend. He worked seven days a week, never took a vacation. He was always there for us, climbing towers in ice storms, you know... whatever it took.” He added, “...there’s the attitude that tower crews are crazy and he wasn’t. He was sane and normal, incredibly intelligent. Very passionate about what he did.”
The workers were identified as Jerry Case, age 54, of Kansas City, Mo. and Kevin Keeling, age 33, of Independence, Mo. Both were employed by Structural Inspections Inc. of Blue Springs, Mo. Engineers familiar with the company noted Case was a nationally renowned engineer and tower worker, and a “phenomenal” person. OSHA and the Douglas County Sheriffs are working together to determine what caused the cable failure.
The stories and video may still be available on the KSHB-TV Web site. Scroll to the bottom of the list of local stories.
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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