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.KFI Radio Tower 

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.

KFI 640 AM Tower Collapse
Photos Courtesy of and Copyrighted by Dino Darling

Elevated Anchor Failure of KFI Guy Anchor Failure California
The back guy rod of this elevated anchor reportedly failed as the third level of wires were tensioned   It is being investigated to see if the failure of the turnbuckle caused the guyed tower to collapse 
Guyed Tower Failure Guy Tower Anchor Rod

It appears that the threaded rod had pulled loose from the turnbuckle

Guyed tower elevated anchor Guyed tower turnbuckle failure
The fan plate of the elevated anchor  A damaged turnbuckle 
Guyed Tower Base Section  Guyed Tower Failure KFI
The guyed tower's base  Twisted section lay alongside a warehouse 
Guyed Tower Damage  Tower erection rooster head 
Reminiscent of the 2004 collapse, a tower section fell over the AM tower's compound wall  A section of the erector's gin pole and rooster head fell through a warehouse roof 
Guyed Tower Base Insulator  Tower Lighting Damage 
The tower's base insulator was crushed, spreading ceramic pieces throughout the area  The new Dialight lighting system would have helped to prevent planes crashing into the tower
KFI Anchor Failure

Elevated anchor design approved by the Building and Safety Division, County of Los Angeles,
March 11, 2008

 For additional photographs of the tower failure, visit

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