Two dead in Tippecanoe Co. radio tower accident

Published: .
Updated: .

Tippecanoe County - Two construction workers died in an accident at a radio tower in Tippecanoe County Wednesday morning.

The Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department confirmed the deaths at the radio tower, which is located in a rural area at County Roads 900 East and 600 North.

The tower is owned by the WASK Radio Group. The station's management says none of its employees were at the site when the accident happened.

The general manager says the 500-foot tower was under construction after being relocated for a road construction project. The accident happened around 8:50 am.

The sheriff's department says a five-man crew from ERI, Inc. of Chandler, Indiana, was installing a radio tower at the site. Two men who were part of a three-man crew on the tower had apparently been working at about 340 feet when a platform holding them collapsed. Investigators say the men were wearing safety cables.

Killed in the accident were 32-year-old Paul Aliff, of Mesquite, Texas and 29-year-old Ernest Garcia of Laredo, Texas.

Radio station management says 300 feet of the 500-foot tower was complete. They deferred other questions to the contractor building the tower, saying that employees of that company were en route to the accident scene.

Further investigation into the accident will be conducted by the Tippecanoe County Coroner's Office and the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration (IOSHA).