|Anchor system failure fells California AM tower
March 18, 2008 - On Saturday, KFI-AM personnel welcomed the long-awaited construction of their 684-foot guyed tower in La Marida, CA as they watched its stub being set.
As the Clear Channel Radio employees saw the structure approaching its mid level height, they breathed a sigh of relief after waiting almost three and one-half years for the tower to be erected after it was felled when a small plane hit it on December 19, 2004.
At 2:04 P.M. today, they watched in disbelief as the new tower crashed to the ground as a tower crew prepared to pull tension on the third level of seven guy wires. A tower rigger employed by the erection contractor, Seacomm Erectors, Inc. of Sultan, WA, received minor injuries.
The collapse was reportedly a result of a failure of a back guy rod of an elevated anchor system. The tower was engineered and manufactured by Magnum Towers, Inc. of Sacramento, CA.
No riggers were on the tower when it collapsed. The injured worker was getting ready to pull tension on the guy wire atop the elevated guy anchor using a come-along to take up the slack. He either jumped or fell when the tower began to fall.
A photograph of the tower failing was captured by Dino Darling.
For almost three years, Fullerton airport and city officials joined with local pilots in protesting plans for the tower's reconstruction, saying it was too tall and would pose a hazard to pilots. They didn't want the new tower to rise more than 500 feet.
The La Mirada City Council unanimously approved the new tower in January.
"We still stand behind the Federal Aviation Administration finding that this would present no greater hazard," La Mirada City Planner Rueben Arceo said.
Clear Channel Radio engineers are investigating why the structure failed. The existing foundations of the original tower were not damaged.