The tower-related fatal accident that occurred Tuesday near Mobile, AL, claiming the life of one climber, was an unprecedented and dramatic effort in rescue and recovery, according to Captain Clint Cadenhead of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. Cadenhead said the accident attracted the attention of multiple agencies across the state, including neighboring Escambia County, the Alabama State Police and fire department rescue squads from Mobile. “In my 26 years, I haven’t seen anything like it,” he told Inside Towers. “It was a remarkable mutual-aid response to get those men down.”
Cadenhead confirmed the identity of the deceased as Sirous Snider of Burleson, TX. He was employed by San Antonio-based Broadcast Construction Solutions, along with two other crew members who were injured in the accident. The incident, which was initially attributed to falling debris, has since been updated as being the result of a snapped wire that pulled the crew up into the tower. They were in the process of attaching a guy wire at the time of the accident. “A counter weight gave way, as I understand it,” Cadenhead said, “creating another break in some safety equipment. OSHA will do a detailed investigation of what actually happened.”
Once the injured crew members were safely down from the tower, Cadenhead said, they insisted on accompanying the Mobile Fire Department Rescue Unit up in a basket to recover the body of their friend and co-worker. Snider had already been declared dead at the scene but was still attached to the tower roughly 1,000 feet above them. One of the crew members took the ride back up, under uncertain safety conditions, while the other, more seriously injured, had to be talked out of getting in the basket, according to Cadenhead. Neither members of the crew required hospitalization.
Bridgette Hester, founder of the Hubble Foundation, said her group will collect support donations for the family of Sirous Snider. “All proceeds will be donated to the family,” Hester said. “We will leave this fundraiser up for at least two months – you may donate by choosing ‘The Family of Sirous Snider’ from the drop down menu.”
Funds to help defray costs and support the Snider family are also being taken by the Tower Family Foundation.
By Jim Fryer, Inside Towers Managing Editor