Miami-Dade County

Three dead after fall from 100-story TV tower

Three dead after 100-story fall at TV tower

Three men died while working on a TV transmission tower for Channels 7 and 10 in Miami Gardens late Wednesday afternoon when the scaffolding used to reach the top of the tower collapsed.
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Three men died while working on a TV transmission tower for Channels 7 and 10 in Miami Gardens late Wednesday afternoon when the scaffolding used to reach the top of the tower collapsed.

Three men died while working on a TV transmission tower for Channels 7 and 10 in Miami Gardens late Wednesday afternoon when the scaffolding used to reach the top of the tower collapsed.

The tower, 501 NW 207th St. in Miami Gardens, was more than 1,000 feet high, according to FCC records. The men were working at a gin pole attached to the tower, WSVN Channel 7 reported. The pole collapsed, the station said.

“There were some other gentlemen in a trailer and some other guys on the ground who were able to run away,” Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt said.

Late into the night, crime scene tape blocked off 207th Street near the Miami-Dade County line. The top of the tower had what appeared to be frayed wires while the broken scaffolding lay on the ground below. TV news footage showed three bodies covered in yellow tarps.

Eric Garner, who was taking out his garbage and lives across the street from the tower, said he heard a “loud boom’’ and saw debris flying in the air.

“It sounded like a grenade,” he said, adding that he saw the three men working at the top of the tower before the collapse.

WPLG Channel 10 reported the tower transmits signals for WPLG and WSVN Channel 7 and the men were contract workers from Tower King II.

WSVN-TV owner and president Edmund Ansin released a statement to the station that reads, “We are saddened by this tragic event. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of the three men who died. They worked for a company hired by Channel 7 to perform work on the tower that was required by the [Federal Communications Commission].”

Tower King II is a Cedar Hill, Texas, company that builds and maintains television antennas.

According to the FCC Antenna Tower Registration, the 1,032-foot tower was built in 2009 and is owned by Miami Tower, LLC, which has the same Pembroke Park address as WPLG.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more is learned.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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