Friday, December 3, 2010

Yes, Cell Phone Towers Do Collapse

At the 12/2/2010 Zoning Board meeting, T-Mobile's site engineer testified under oath that he never in his career heard about a cell phone tower collapsing. Well, we did a quick search for him and found two examples. Here's the first article from the MetroWest Daily News from 2009:

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"A cell phone tower collapsed right off Route 9 eastbound early Friday afternoon, after a fire started underneath the tower while welders were working on it.

The fire burned for about 20 to 25 minutes, said Wellesley Police Sgt. Glen Gerrans. The tower collapsed before firefighters, who were waiting for power to be cut, could begin putting out the fire. No one was hurt, according to Gerrans.

'Underneath [the base of the tower] are electronic boxes that contain switching equipment and so forth,' Gerrans said, pointing to the still smoking tower, 'and the workmen were working on that part underneath the actual cell phone tower itself using welding equipment and that’s what started the fire.'

Once the welders realized there was a fire, they ran away from the tower, Gerrans said.

The top of the tower fell a few feet from the entrance of the closed and uninhabited Wellesley Travel Inn. A group of onlookers from Lee Volvo and Lee Jaguar of Wellesley stood outside their offices, watching as fire and policemen worked the scene.

'Well the fire just started on the top and it was coming up the wires on the side and then all the fire trucks came, and it kept burning,' Tommy Richards of Lee Volvo said. 'I thought it was going to come onto our lot and it kind of would’ve been in the way. So I was glad it went the other way.'"

Adam Tausevich, a technician with Lee Jaguar, said he saw the cell phone tower catch fire. Concerned that the tower would fall onto the car lot, Tausevich said he and several colleagues started moving cars out of the way, just in case.

“Smoke just started coming out of it and then flames and I got video of it just crashing to the ground,” he said. “It was kind of cool. Something different. You don’t usually see that every day. Most excitement for today, I would say.”

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Here's one more article from the Sioux City Journal:

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"VERMILLION, S.D. -- A cellular phone tower collapse onto South Dakota Highway 50 stopped traffic for nearly two hours Saturday morning.

The Western Wireless (Cellular One) tower collapsed at 7 a.m. about four miles east of Vermillion. The two westbound lanes were closed until 8:45 a.m. when Department of Transportation crews were able to move the tower. Traffic was rerouted until then.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office investigated and determined the cause of the collapse to be metal fatigue involving one of three support cable anchors. The anchor failure occurred approximately six feet underground.

The collapse is affecting cellular phone service in the Interstate 29 area between Beresford and Jefferson. Cellular One representatives said they will build a temporary tower to restore service."

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