List of catastrophic collapses of broadcast masts and towers

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This is a list of catastrophic collapses of masts and towers.

Masts and towers can collapse as a result of natural disasters, such as storms and fires; from engineering defects; and from accidents or sabotage.

List of Collapses

Location Date Mode of construction Height
(meters)
Reason for collapse Remarks
Nauen, Germany March 30, 1912 Guyed steel lattice mast 200 Storm The oldest continuously operating radio transmitting installation in the world.
Java, Netherlands East Indies 1923 ? ? Lightning
Norddeich, Germany November 25, 1925 Guyed steel lattice mast ? Storm Three towers collapsed
Place of Magdeburg Transmitter, Berlin, Germany July 1926 Guyed mast on roof top ? Guy cable rusted through
Western mast of Zeesen transmitter, Zeesen, Germany 1927 Guyed steel lattice mast 210 Collapse at construction
Munich-Stadelheim, Germany November 23, 1930 Free standing wood lattice tower 75 Storm Two towers snapped off 25 metres above ground
Langenberg, Germany October 10, 1935 Free standing wood lattice tower 150 Tornado Replaced by triangle antenna
Liechtenstein-Haberfeld transmitter November 21, 1938 Storm
Utbremen Radio Tower, Bremen, Germany 1939 Free standing wood lattice tower 90 Lightning Replaced by steel tower
Radio Normandie Transmitter, Tower West, Fécamp, France[1] November 7, 1940 Free standing lattice tower 113 Storm
Langenberg, Germany 1949 Guyed steel tube mast 51 Storm 2 masts of a triangle aerial
Schwerin-Möwenburgstrasse transmitter, Schwerin, Germany February 10, 1949 Guyed steel lattice mast 120 Storm
Hamburg-Billwerder, Germany December 1949 Guyed steel lattice mast 198 Storm Partial destruction of a guyed mast under construction
Augusta, Michigan November 30, 1953 Guyed steel tube mast Aircraft collision Former Michigan Governor Kim Sigler, who was piloting the plane, and three passengers were killed.
Nicosia, Cyprus 1955 Sabotage Destroyed by EOKA rebels
WOAI, Selma, Texas"WOAI San Antonio Texas - Engineering and Technology History Wiki". www.ieeeghn.org. </ref> April 3, 1956[2] Guyed steel lattice mast 100 Hit by a B-29.[2]
Ochsenkopf, Germany January 1958 Guyed steel tube mast 50 Icing Replaced by concrete tower
KOBR-TV Tower, Caprock, New Mexico 1960 Guyed lattice steel mast 491 Storm Replaced by new mast of same height
LORAN-C location transmitter, Carolina Beach, North Carolina, US 1961 Lattice Tower 191 Storm Tower buckled at 2/3 of height. Tower carried radials (wires attached radially in a horizontal plane) on its top although it was not designed for them.
Villebon-sur-Yvette, France December 10, 1961 Guyed steel lattice mast ? Terrorism
LORAN-C transmitter Ejde, Ejde, Faroe Islands 1962 Guyed steel lattice mast 190 Material fault Slip of guy
KGW Tower, Portland, Oregon, US October 12, 1962 Guyed steel lattice mast 180 Storm Columbus Day Storm
Angissq LORAN-C transmitter, Angissq, Greenland July 27, 1964 Guyed steel lattice mast 411 Material fault Replaced by a 214 m (704 ft)) tall mast radiator
Yap LORAN-C transmitter, Yap Island, Micronesia 1964 Guyed steel lattice mast 305 Collapsed during construction
Iwo Jima LORAN-C transmitter, Japan 1965 Guyed steel lattice mast 411 Maintenance work The collapsing mast also destroyed the transmitter building. 6 persons were killed.
SES8 Tower, Mount Burr, South Australia, 1965 Guyed steel lattice mast 200 Mast collapsed during guy wire tension testing
KXJB-TV mast, Galesburg, North Dakota February 14, 1966 Guyed steel lattice mast 628 Helicopter collision
WLBT Tower, Raymond, Mississippi March 3, 1966 Guyed steel lattice 487 F5 Tornado Replaced with 609.3 m tower which collapsed in 1997
XHI-TDT Tower, Ciudad Obregón, Mexico September 28, 1966 ? 200 Hurricane Kristen Replaced with a temporary Antenna and moved to Yucuribampo Hill
WNBC-AM, WCBS-AM, at High Island, New York,[3] August 27, 1967 Guyed lattice steel mast 161 Aircraft collision
Waltham mast, UK 1967 Guyed tubular steel mast 290 Storm: high winds causing oscillations in the mast structure
KELO TV Tower, Rowena, South Dakota June 24, 1968 Guyed steel lattice mast 609 Airplane collision during thunderstorm
WAEO Tower, Starks, Wisconsin November 17, 1968 Guyed steel lattice mast 524 Collapse due to plane collision with guy wire
Marnach, Luxembourg January 17, 1969 ? Plane crash ?
Emley Moor, Great Britain March 19, 1969 Guyed tubular steel mast 385 Ice Replaced by 330 m free-standing concrete tower
Orlunda, Sweden July 12, 1970 Guyed steel lattice mast 250 Lightning (Destruction of basement insulator)
KOIN-TV Towers, Portland, Oregon February 28, 1971 Guyed steel lattice mast 305 & 213 Icing Two towers collapsed
KSTP-TV and WCCO-TV, Shoreview, Minnesota September 7, 1971 Guyed steel lattice mast 411 Structural failure during construction Seven technicians were killed while lifting the first of three large antenna sections into place at the top of the tower.
Königswusterhausen, Germany November 15, 1972 Lattice steel tower 243 Storm
Bithlo (near Orlando), Florida, US June 8, 1973 Guyed Steel Tower 457 Collapsed because of removal of load-bearing diagonals during FM antenna installation. Multi-station tower supporting antennas of TV stations WDBO-TV, WFTV, and WMFE-TV, and radio stations WDBO-FM and WDIZ-FM – two workers on tower killed
KCRG-TV Tower Walker, Iowa October 4, 1973 Guyed Steel Tower 598 Collapsed during modifications to tower. Tower being modified prior to installtion of Iowa Public Television side mounted antenna – five workers on tower site killed
TV Mast Brest - Roc'h Trédudon, France February 1974 Guyed steel lattice mast 218 Terrorism A slightly higher tower, 225 m, has been built since.
KELO TV Tower, Rowena, South Dakota, US 1975 Guyed steel lattice mast 610 Blizzard
Sendemast SL3, Burg bei Magdeburg, Germany February 18, 1976 Guyed steel lattice mast 350 Material fault
Pic de Nore transmitter, Pic de Nore, France December 2, 1976 Concrete tower ? Storm Storm tore pinnacle down
KSLA-TV Tower, Mooringsport, LA October 8, 1977 Guyed steel lattice mast 521 Undetermined 1709 feet HAAT. Erected November 17, 1964. Had elevator, RCA Travelling Wave pylon antenna for Channel 12 (System M), land mobile antennas, all lost. RCA contractor for erection, Stainless subcontractor. No definitive cause ever found for collapse. Speculation of "galloping guy lines" (mechanical standing waves in one of the guys), causing stress-to-failure in the guys due to rapidly alternating strain.
WJJY TV Mast, Bluffs, IL March 26, 1978 Guyed steel lattice mast 491 Ice. The strain snapped 2-inch coupling bolts (24 of them) that joined the 2nd and 3rd sections. In August 1969. This tower was 1 of the 3 tallest structures in the Northern Hemisphere and transmitter radiated the most powerful UHF-TV signal in the world. TV channel 14 (470-476 MHz). Collapsed Easter Sunday. 39°45′31″N 90°31′8″W / 39.75861°N 90.51889°W / 39.75861; -90.51889 (WJPT)
WAND TV Tower, Decatur March 26, 1978 Guyed steel lattice mast 400 Ice. Same ice storm that toppled WJJY. Upper section of antenna broke loose and fell through the guy wires. WAND and WJJY used the same RCA UHF antennas, mfg in 1969. TV channel 17 (488-494 MHz) Collapsed Easter Sunday.
Nebraska Education Tower, Angora February 1978 Guyed steel lattice mast 457 Ice
Zehlendorf bei Oranienburg, Germany May 21, 1978 Guyed steel lattice mast 352 Aircraft collision
CKVR Television Tower, Barrie, Ontario, Canada 1978 ? 66 Aircraft collision
Vysílač Krašov, Bezvěrov, Czechoslovakia 1979 Guyed mast of lattice steel 305 Icing Mast was predamaged
Blåbärskullen transmitter, Sunne, Sweden December 27, 1979 Guyed mast of lattice steel 323 Icing Pinnacle with broadcasting antennas fell down, height afterwards 274 metres
LORAN-C transmitter Jan Mayen, Jan Mayen, Norway October 8, 1980 Guyed mast of lattice steel 190 Icing Guys were improperly installed
Delimora Transmitter, Malta Guyed mast of lattice steel 88 The guy was made of polymer, which melted as result of high electric field strength, storm at same time made mast collapse
Dudelange Radio Tower, Luxembourg July 31, 1981 Lattice steel tower 285 Aircraft collision Debris of the tower killed a couple in a house near the tower.
WCIQ Tower, Mount Cheaha, Alabama January 1982 Guyed steel lattice mast ? Ice storm
Senior Road Tower, Missouri City, Texas, US December 7, 1982 Guyed steel lattice mast 569 Guy wire severed Total collapse during installation of 6-ton FM antenna on new 1800 ft. tower. 5 technicians killed, 2 on the hoist riding the FM antenna up and 3 on the tower. Determined insufficient sized bolts on the makeshift lifting lug extension failed. The falling debris severed one of the tower's guy wires which caused the tower to whip back and forth and collapse.
KANU tower, Lawrence, KS December 11, 1982 Guyed steel lattice mast 184 Sabotage. Guy wires severed
CKX-TV Craig Television Tower, Canada 1983 Guyed mast 412 Icing
TV mast Wavre, Belgium October 13, 1983 Guyed mast ? Storm
KWWL, Rowley, Iowa November 28, 1983 Guyed steel lattice mast 610 Ice
Bielstein, Germany January 15, 1985 Guyed steel tube mast 298 Ice
San Francisco, CA, US - Candlestick Hill February 14, 1986 Self-supporting tower 137 High wind. KYA transmitter placed in service in 1937. Failure may have resulted from tower leg insulator replacement where all-thread rod was not long enough to fully engage securing nut.
Caroline 558 and Radio Monique mast, aboard MV Ross Revenge, off English coast November 25, 1987 Lattice steel tower 92 Force 8 storm Tallest ever mast aboard any ship. It was replaced by horizontal wire antenna between two shorter masts.
KTUL Tower Coweta, OK December 26, 1987 Lattice steel guyed tower 582 Ice storm Listed at 1909 feet
Vännäs TV Tower, Vännäs, Sweden 1988 Guyed mast on top of a concrete tower. 323 Icing Replaced by 323-metre-tall (1,060 ft) partially guyed tower
KTVO-TV Tower, Colony, Missouri June 2, 1988 Guyed steel lattice mast 610 During repairs Crew was replacing cross support beams at the 200 meter level. The mast broke at that spot, the bottom 200 meters fell to the south, the top fell straight down. All three workers on the mast were killed.
KGO (AM) towers Newark, California October 17, 1989 ? 91 Earthquake Three towers damaged
WRAL-TV & WPTF-TV towers, Auburn December 1989 2 Guyed steel tube framework masts 609 Ice Unusually heavy ice concentrated at top predominantly on one side of towers caused asymmetrical load. Dislodged essentially as one piece during rapid warming; sudden unloading caused dynamic failure.
RÚV long wave radio mast, Vatnsendahæð, Reykjavik, Iceland February 3, 1991 Guyed steel lattice mast Storm
WDIO-TV Duluth, Minnesota, US March 23, 1991 Guyed steel triangular tower 259 Ice and high wind Freezing rain, accompanied at time with thunder, coated the city of Duluth with as much as 6 inches of ice. The 850-foot WDIO-TV tower was toppled as winds gusted to 40 mph, buffeting the heavily ice-covered tower. The tower fell onto a nearby utility line which provided power to the remainder of Duluth’s television and FM radio stations, and all but one AM radio station. Telephone and power lines snapped leaving Duluth and many northeastern Minnesota communities without utility services for 24 hours. The DNR reported that four million pine trees were damaged or destroyed. - NOAA NWS Duluth, MN
Warsaw radio mast, Konstantynów, Poland August 8, 1991 Guyed steel tube framework mast 648 Maintenance Replacement by facility in Solec Kujawski
WCIX TV Tower Homestead, Florida August 25, 1992 Guyed steel tower 549 Hurricane Andrew Rebuilt by LeBlanc Tower of Canada
COMMSTA Miami 1992 Guyed mast (insulated) 91 Hurricane Andrew Collapse of 2 masts
Cape Race LORAN-C transmitter, Cape Race, Canada February 2, 1993 Guyed steel lattice mast 411 Material fault Fatigue failure of the eyebolt head in a compression cone insulator on structural guy caused swing-in damage, which resulted in structural collapse
LORAN-C transmitter Kargaburan, Kargaburan, Turkey February 25, 1993 Guyed steel lattice mast 191 Snowstorm Tower had construction faults
WCOV-TV Tower, Montgomery, Alabama, US 1996 ? 242 Tornado
Langenberg, Germany September 2, 1996 Guyed steel lattice mast 160 Maintenance
KXTX-TV Tower Cedar Hill, Texas October 12, 1996 Guyed steel tower 468 Maintenance for DTV install 3 died when tower collapsed after gin pole ran off track and snapped a guy wire
Grigoriopol transmitter, Moldova 1997 Guyed steel lattice mast 350 Icing 2 masts collapsed
Grigoriopol transmitter, Moldova 1997 Guyed steel lattice mast 250 Icing 2 masts collapsed
KXJB-TV mast, North Dakota, US April 6, 1997 Guyed steel lattice mast 628 Ice
KNOE-TV Tower, Columbia, Louisiana March 20, 1997 Guyed steel lattice mast 606 Maintenance One killed, 2 injured when workers failed to install temporary braces
WLBT Tower, Raymond, Mississippi October 23, 1997 Guyed steel lattice 609 Maintenance Three killed - temporary braces failed during HDTV antenna upgrade
WKY-AM-TV Tower, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US June 13, 1998 Guyed mast 293 Tornado
TV Tower Avala, Serbia April 30, 1999 Concrete tower (with observation deck) 203 Air raid (NATO bombardment, Kosovo war)
WRMD-Tower, St. Petersburg, Florida, US April 25, 2000 Guyed steel lattice mast 198 Helicopter crash 3 died when medical helicopter hit guy wire in clear weather and crashed
WNWI 1080-Towers, Oak Lawn (Chicago), Illinois, US[citation needed] July 9, 2000 Guyed steel lattice mast 61 Sabotage Two towers collapsed
KXEO/KWWR-Tower, Mexico, MO, US August 23, 2000 Guyed steel lattice mast 123 Storm ml
CBC Tower, Shawinigan, QC, Canada April 22, 2001 Guyed steel lattice mast 371 Blown up after aircraft crash
Angara transmitter, Northern Mast, Angara, Russia June 6, 2001 Guyed steel lattice mast carrying a T-antenna 205 Bad state of guys
World Trade Center North Tower, New York City, NY September 11, 2001 Truses and Axis 526 Terrorist attack Tower was destroyed as a result of the September 11 attacks in which a commercial airliner rammed into the side of the building causing it and the broadcast tower to collapse under its own weight.
Krasny Bor transmitter, Russia November 5, 2001 Guyed steel lattice mast 258 Helicopter collision
WKFT, North Carolina, US March 14, 2002 Guyed steel tower 503 Airplane crash
KDUH/CH4 TV Mast, Hemingford, Nebraska, US September 24, 2002 Guyed steel lattice mast 599 Maintenance Two workers killed, 3 injured on ground
WVAH-TV Tower, West Virginia, US February 19, 2003 Guyed steel lattice mast 473 Ice
WPAY-Tower, Portsmouth, Ohio, US February 19, 2003 Guyed steel lattice mast 200 Ice
WTNV-FM Tower, Jackson, Tennessee, US May 4, 2003 Free-standing steel lattice tower 176 Tornado
WMBD Tower, Peoria, Illinois, US May 10, 2003 Free-standing steel lattice tower ? Tornado Collapse of 3 towers
KETV TV Tower July 2003 Guyed steel lattice mast 415 Reconstruction work
WIFR TV tower July 5, 2003 Guyed steel lattice mast 222 Storm (derecho)
WAAY-TV - TV Mast, Huntsville, Alabama, US September 4, 2003 Guyed steel lattice mast 305 unknown 3 workers killed
Utrecht, Netherlands September 8, 2003 Guyed steel lattice mast 45 B
WJDB Transmitter Grove Hill, AL September 16, 2004 Guyed steel lattice mast 131 Hurricane Ivan Replacement tower constructed shortly thereafter. Also knocked Clarke County, AL, Sheriff's Office off the air (KWO611)
WPMI-TV Tower, Robertsdale, Alabama, US September 16, 2004 Guyed steel lattice mast 518 Storm Hurricane Ivan
Peterborough, Great Britain October 30, 2004 Guyed steel lattice mast 163 Fire (suspected vandalism) Temporary replacement mast constructed shortly thereafter. New permanent mast entered full service in February 2006.
KFI Mast, La Mirada, CA, US December 19, 2004 Guyed steel lattice mast 195 Aircraft collision
WLGA Transmitter Tower (formerly WSWS-TV Transmitter Tower), Cusseta, Georgia, US February 27, 2005 Guyed steel lattice mast 538 Replacement tower completed September 15, 2005.
Nebraska Education Tower Atlanta, Atlanta, Nebraska, US November 25, 2005 Guyed steel lattice mast 325 Aircraft collision All three aircraft occupants killed
KLTV-TV Mast, Tyler, TX (Red Springs, TX) February 3, 2006 Guyed steel lattice mast 329 Undetermined 1078 feet HAAT. Erected in 1981. No definitive cause ever found for collapse. Speculation was that the collapse was directly or indirectly related to the recent installation of their digital television antenna. The collapse destroyed the tower, KLTV's analog and digital antennas, KLTV's digital transmitter, and FM station KVNE's antenna. The analog transmitter was undamaged, and within a few days was moved to KLTV's backup tower in east Tyler. Interestingly, the collapse occurred the day after Raycom Media officially took ownership of the station.
Torre VIP de Rádio & TV, São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil August 23, 2006 Guyed steel lattice mast 174 Maintenance 1 person was killed
WACS-TV tower March 1, 2007 Guyed steel lattice mast 329 EF3 tornado Americus, Georgia, was struck by the tornado a few minutes later
WSKY-DT Tower, Camden County, NC, US March 2, 2007 Guyed steel lattice mast 230 Guy wire anchor failure Under construction. Also destroyed transmitter building. Was planned for a height of 1,036 ft (315.77 m).[4]
WCFE-DT, Clinton, County, NY, US April 18, 2007 Guyed steel tower 136 Structural failure 400-foot transmitter tower located on Averil Peak, NY completely collapsed as a result of heavy amounts of ice and snow from the April 2007 Nor'easter. Partially damaged the transmitter building at the base. New tower erected and back in service Oct, 9 2007.
Browns Summit Crown Castle Broadcasting Tower, Browns Summit, Texas, US May 29, 2007 Guyed steel lattice mast 244 Restoration work
WNEP-TV Tower, Penobscot Knob Pensylvania December 16, 2007 Guyed steel lattice mast 244 Ice Also damaged transmitter building and doppler radar.[5]
WVIA-TV Tower, Penobscot Knob December 16, 2007 Guyed steel lattice mast 510 Ice 300 ft. section lost from top of tower [6]
KATV-TV Tower, Redfield, Jefferson County, US January 11, 2008 Guyed steel lattice mast 609 Maintenance Restringing guy wires [7]
Emmis Television Wichita Tower March 28, 2009 Guyed steel lattice mast 326 Ice
2QN Tower, Deniliquin, New South Wales, Australia June 30, 2009 Guyed steel lattice mast 102 Storm Wind gust reportedly caused the mast to collapse during a severe storm
KRKO Radio Towers September 4, 2009 Guyed steel lattice mast ? Terrorism 2 masts
WLHR-FM Radio Tower Lavonia, GA, US January 30, 2010 Guyed steel lattice mast 86 Sabotage Guyed wires cut
WEAU TV/Radio Tower Fairchild, WI, US March 22, 2011 Guyed steel lattice mast 609 ? Weather-related
Zendstation Smilde, TV/Radio Tower, Hoogersmilde, The Netherlands July 15, 2011 Guyed steel tube mast on concrete tower 303 Fire Tubular steel superstructure collapsed, new steel lattice superstructure constructed (2012) on top of existing concrete base tower
Longwave transmitter Europe 1, 280 metres mast, Felsberg-Berus, Germany August 8, 2012 Guyed steel lattice mast 280 ? Pinnacle and upper sections fell down
Boll Relay Transmitter, Oberndorf-Boll, Germany November 2, 2012 Lattice tower 30 Collision with truck [8]
Houston public safety radio tower September 20, 2013 Guyed 152 Unknown km
CRTV Mast, Logbessou, Douala, Cameroon September 24, 2014 Guyed 200 Corrosion Mast collapsed during replacement of corroded leg at 160m. 4 riggers killed.[9]
Rekowo Radio Mast, Rekowo, Poland January 2, 2015 Guyed 60 Storm
Häglared transmitter, Borås, Sweden May 15, 2016 Guyed mast of lattice steel 332 Sabotage Roughly half of the mast fell after guy wires had been sabotaged.
KOZK Ozarks Public Television, Fordland, MO April 19, 2018 Guyed 597 Unknown Six workers were performing routine maintenance at 105 ft on the tower when it collapsed, one worker was killed.

References

  1. ^ "Radio_Normandy". 20 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "WOAI San Antonio Texas". Engineering and Technology History Wiki. Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Tower Collapse Slows DTV Project - 3/12/2007 - Broadcasting & Cable". 
  5. ^ "'Story' Meets a Cow!". 18 August 2015. 
  6. ^ PAHomePage.com - Monday Morning WYOU and WBRE TV Signal Update[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Cause of Tower Collapse Still Unknown-Channel 7 News". 11 May 2008. 
  8. ^ "Pressemitteilung". 4 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Quatre morts à Logbessou après la chute d'un pylône de la CRTV". 
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