TV tower collapses, cuts off power

Saturday, December 1, 2001

FORDLAND, Mo. -- A 1,560-foot television tower collapsed in southwest Missouri Friday, cutting power to dozens of homes and taking three broadcast stations off the air.

There were no injuries, and the cause of the collapse was under investigation. Between 50 and 75 homes served by Webster Electric lost power, but the homes were expected to be online before noon Friday, utility spokesman Phillip Ragsdale said.

KDEB, Springfield's Fox affiliate, lost its signal after the tower collapsed on itself north of Fordland, about 15 miles east of Springfield. KDEB's cable signal in Springfield was not affected.

Radio station KTXR, which rented space on the tower, also was taken off the air briefly before resuming its broadcast from a backup site later Friday morning.

Power to a nearby tower that broadcasts radio station KWFC also was cut, and the station said it could be three days before its signal returns.

KDEB crews were on the scene assessing damage. There was no immediate word about when the station would resume broadcast transmission.

Freezing rain and drizzle had hit the region in recent days, forming ice on structures across the area.

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