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Documented tower failures

Documented tower failures

Documented tower failures

Can anyone point to websites or other sources for documented cases of tower failures(radio station and/or cell towers)?  My primary interest is wind event related, but am interested in whatever is out there.  I occasionally have to explain to clients and zoning officials that towers do not just "roll over" when they collapse, and would like to provide real world cases to help explain.  Luckily tower failures are few and far between, so I honestly do not know how much "bad" history is out there.  

RE: Documented tower failures

I was surfing the other night for unrelated structural info, and came across www.sgh.com. Although I was looking for other things, I found a few discussions on their website about cases that they had handled regarding tower failures.
Maybe try looking around their site (as I wasn't interested in this area myself, I didn't make a note of the details).
Hope this helps.  I apologize if it's a dead end.

RE: Documented tower failures

This will obviously not help you in your general search, but I can relate ONE very personal experiance with a 500 foot radio transmission tower.
In 1965 the KNX radio tower  in Hawthorne, California (Los Angeles) went down in the parking lot of the radio station.  It fell when teenagers cut through one of the guys with a hacksaw!!!  When the guy broke, the tower jumped out of it's base socket , cleared the building, and landed in the parking lot about 100 feet from where it started. As it fell, it coiled about itself ( no major section fell very far away from the initial point of impact)clearing the buildng completely.
After we cleaned up the mess, and after the insurance investigations, the original 500 foot tower, along with a companion 400+ foot tower was rebuilt.  This was done in July ,1966 by the Pacific Crane & Rigging Co. along with members of the Ironworkers Local 433 of Los Angeles (including myself).
The amazing thing to me was the way it fell, in a coil straight down.  That and the fact that the kid that cut the cable wasn't killed.
PC&R are out of buisness now, but the company that absorbed them (MAACO) may still have the photos, it was quite spectacular.


RE: Documented tower failures

That's an amazing story.  You mentioned that the kid that cut the guy wasn't killed.  Did the tower fall immediately? Or are you assuming that because the darn fool's body wasn't found at that location?  I guess, I'm surprised that cutting one cable would lead to collapse.

RE: Documented tower failures

As I recall we tensioned the new guy wires to about 48,000 #, but it has been a long time and  I was a lot younger then.  The kid or kids were cought and relayed how they did it.  But I read it in the San Diego(I was working on the Navy  base there) paper and can only testify to what I did some months later.  I have seen large diameter cables break (we were docking the Spruce Goose in Long Beach and a 2 1/2 inch dia. cable parted) and it is quite spectacular!  I do know that a lot of chain link fence and razor wire are around the "dead men" as they are now.  The area has built up a lot since then and I doubt that the event could be repeated now without injury or death.  

If you are interested, the towers may be seen in the  original movie, "Gone in 60 Seconds" (1974) as the automobile agency in the movie is just across the street.


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