Victims in collapse identified

By Brady Bauman

The Pottawatomie County Sherrif’s Department on Wednesday released the names of the two men who died Tuesday after a pair of communication towers collapsed near Blaine.

The victims were Martin Powers, 38, of St. Charles, Mo., and Seth Garner, 25, of St. Peters, Mo.

Powers died at the scene, while Garner was transported to Onaga Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Both workers were contracted by Union Pacific Railroad, the company that operates the towers, according to company spokesman Aaron Hunt.

The incident occurred just north of Kansas Highway 16 and just east of Rock Creek Road, 1.5 miles southwest of Blaine in Pottawatomie County.

The towers collapsed shortly after 9 a.m. while Powers and Garner were in the process of dismantling an old tower. Both workers were near the top of the tower, which was more than 250 feet high, when the tower unexpectedly fell.

The replacement tower, which had been erected beside the old one just a couple weeks prior, also fell.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the friends and families of those individuals,” Hunt told the Mercury Tuesday afternoon. “We will collaborate with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Department in the investigation of what happened.”

Pottawatomie Emergency Management Director Chris Trudo said four people were at the scene at the time of the incident with two people on one of the towers.

The other two were on the ground and were not injured.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502 | Copyright 2017