A big hang-up

A big hang-up This length of twisted steel and cables is all that remains of the cellular telephone tower that fell on Highway 50 Saturday morning. Workers have replaced it with a temporary tower to restore phone service. by David Lias Some cellular phone users in the Vermillion area no doubt recently experienced a sudden end to their calls.

At approximately 7 a.m. Saturday, a cellular phone tower located four miles east of Vermillion near Highway 50 collapsed.

The tower landed across the westbound lanes of the highway. According to Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe, the westbound lanes remained closed until 8:45 a.m. Saturday when crews from the South Dakota Department of Transportation moved the tower from the road.

The Clay County Sheriff's Department was assisted by personnel from the Union County Sheriff's Office.

An investigation by the local sheriff's department has deterimined that the cause of the tower collapse is metal fatigue involving one of three support cable anchors. The failure of the anchor occurred approximately six feet underground. Foul play has been ruled out.

The tower is owned by SBA and is in use by Western Wireless (CellularOne). Cellular telephone service was affected in the I-29 area between Beresford and Jefferson. Workers have erected a temporary tower to restore service.

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