CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Two contractors and a firefighter were killed Saturday when a 300-foot cell tower collapsed and subsequently toppled a smaller tower.
The towers, owned by SBA Communications, are located on Murphy’s Run Road in the Summit Park area of Clarksburg.
Four contractors—some of whom were tethered to the tower 70 feet above ground—were attempting to reinforce the taller structure when it fell around 11:30 a.m., killing two of the men.
State Police on Sunday identified the contractors killed as Kyle Kirkpatrick, 32, from Hulbert, Okla., and Terry Lee Richard, Jr., 27, Bokoshe, Okla.
A Nutter Fort firefighter, 28-year-old Clarksburg resident Michael Dale Garrett, was killed when the smaller tower fell as emergency crews made a rescue attempt.
Two contractors remained hospitalized late Saturday, reportedly with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the injuries to the other individuals and our prayers and concern go out to the families involved,” SBA Communications said in a statement. “SBA Communications is cooperating fully with any type of investigation being conducted by governmental agencies. We realize the sensitivity surrounding such an unexpected event and have mobilized our team to be on the scene to assist with any information needed.”
Summit Park Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brenda Fragmin said rescue operations were underway to free the four trapped contractors when the tower fell on Garrett.
Jeremy Haddix, Nutter Fort fire chief, said the injured firefighter died at United Hospital Center.
“It is with great sadness that the Nutter Fort Fire Department is confirming the line of duty death of one of our members. … We ask that you keep his family and all members of the Nutter Fort Fire Department in your prayers.”
State Police Cpl. Mark Waggamon said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.