Update – 1.28. 2015, 5:55 p.m – Two tower techs that were erecting a new cell site tower for their employer, Viaero Wireless, were transported to the hospital after they had been trapped under a collapsed structure in Scottsbluff, Neb.
In a prepared statement, Viaero Executive Vice President Mike Felicissimo said a wind gust caused a section of the tower to shift. He says one man injured his leg and the other had shoulder pain, but both are doing well after receiving treatment.
Scottsbluff Fire Chief Dana Miller says responders were told one man fell about 10 feet, and the other fell more than 20 feet in the collapse.
The Star-Herald reports the two techs were trapped under a self supporting tower section that collapsed Wednesday at noon. The Scottsbluff Fire Department responded to the scene.
It appears from available photographs that the men might have been working on a tower section that was standing vertical on the ground and it may have fallen over.
Miller says the collapse occurred while the area is under a wind advisory, which states winds could reach 25 to 35 miles per hour and gusts could reach 50 miles per hour.
Wireless Estimator has contacted Viaero’s corporate offices in Colorado for additional information regarding the incident.
The injuries were reportedly not life threatening.
A Viaero Wireless crew member was killed in 2005 when he fell from a mounting frame while installing an antenna. The company was fined $125,000 by OSHA following their investigation.
That fatality played a pivotal role in Eric Steinmann and Don Evans contributing $400,000 to get the Tower Family Foundation funded after they witnessed the struggles that families go through following a serious injury or death.
Photo: Maunette Loeks