One Dead, One Injured in New Hampshire Ham Radio Tower Mishap
From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 22:18:19
A tower dismantling turned tragic on Saturday, July 27, in Deerfield, New Hampshire, when two radio amateurs working some 40 feet up on the tower were carried to the ground when the structure collapsed. Joseph Areyzaga, K1JGA, 52, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, did not survive his injuries sustained in the fall, while the tower's owner, Michael Rancourt, K1EEE, 65, was seriously injured and remains hospitalized. Rancourt was taking down the tower in preparation for selling his house, and the pair had nearly completed their work. They were tied into the tower and went down with it as it collapsed.
The tower, a tilt-over model said to be 40 to 50 feet, had been bolted to prevent it from tilting as it was being dismantled.
A law enforcement source said a number of people were at the site at the time for a social gathering as the tower was being taken down, and they witnessed the tragedy.
No official determination has been made regarding the cause of the structural failure, but a radio amateur who visited the scene afterward observed that two of the tower's three legs were clearly compromised and split cleanly and the third leg bent, just above the fully intact tilt base.
The New Hampshire Amateur Radio tower-related fatality is the second such deadly incident in a little more than 6 weeks. In mid-June, a Pennsylvania radio amateur died when the tower he was installing collapsed as he was attempting to attach a guy line to the structure's bottom section.
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