Timber!!!! KATV Tower Tumbles to Ground
Source: KATV.com A 2,000-foot television tower that was the second-tallest structure in the world when it was built has collapsed as workers were restringing guy wires.
The collapse of the KATV tower Friday afternoon about 20 miles south of Little Rock knocked two area television stations off the air.
KATV news director Randy Dixon said one person on the ground suffered a minor injury Friday when the Channel 7 tower collapsed.
After the collapse, the station was working to establish a feed to restore its signal to the portion of its audience that obtains programming by satellite and cable.
An engineer said damage and injuries were limited because of the tower's design. Wayne Morgan, an engineer for Vinco Inc. who was at the scene this afternoon, said that it looks like the tower did exactly what it was designed to do. He said it was designed to crumple up and fall pretty much straight down.
Morgan said the guy wires are designed so they don't put too much tension on the tower, pulling it in one direction or another, and it fell straight down like it was supposed to.
Competitors of KATV, an ABC affiliate, immediately offered help. Rob Heverling, news director at NBC affiliate KARK-TV, Channel 4, said the station immediately contacted KATV and sent engineers to the scene. Heverling said all competition is out the window when something like this happens.
Larry Audas, general manager at KTHV-TV, Channel 11, a CBS station, did the same. Audas said he knows it's the most difficult of circumstances for any TV station to have its transmission tower totally out of action.
The collapse also knocked out the analog signal of KETS, a Public Broadcasting Service affiliate with studios at Conway which is the flagship station of the Arkansas Educational Television Network. AETN said it could be several days before its analog signal was restored to viewers not using cable or satellite services.
Equity Broadcasting is redistributing the KATV broadcast signal to cable systems across Arkansas, so everyone should have station programming back on the air Friday night.
UPDATE: 9PM The cable system in Hope just got the KATV signal back on the air. There's still seems to be an issue with the audio.