Breaking News Bar
updated: 5/3/2013 4:24 PM

Climber dies in fiery fall on Seattle power tower

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- A man was apparently electrocuted when he climbed a 200-foot tower, touched a high-voltage power line and fell to a platform where his body was recovered by a Seattle Fire Department team.

Firefighters found a cap and a cellphone next to the body but nothing to indicate why he climbed the tower early Friday, said department spokesman Kyle Moore.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

There was no one at the scene who said they knew the man, Moore said. The King County medical examiner's office took the body to determine his identification and cause of death.

"We don't know why he climbed the tower," said police spokesman Renee Witt. "There's nothing to indicate it was something other than an accidental death from trespassing."

The fire department initially received a report about 12:30 a.m. Friday of what appeared to be a transformer fire on the tower that carries 120,000-volt lines across the Lake Washington Ship Canal in the Fremont neighborhood.

It was followed by a report of witnesses seeing a flash of crackling sparks and a man falling.

Seattle City Light said it was too dangerous for firefighters to rush up the tower, Moore said. They were able to call in a Snohomish County helicopter for assistance. It spotted the body on the platform with no signs of life.

City Light turned off the power through the lines so a fire department technical rescue team could climb up and recover the body from the platform about 150 feet off the ground. The body was lowered to the ground before 7 a.m. in a basket.

The utility was able to switch electricity so only one customer was out of service during the recovery, said spokesman Peter Clarke.

It was the first such mishap Clarke could recall in his 13 years with the city utility. It would be possible for a "very determined" person to climb the lattice of metal in one of the tower legs, he said.

"We're going to be reviewing that to see if we can make it less easy," Clarke said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.