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Oct 14, 2010

Fall from Tower leads to death of two men

Two men, engaged in a high risk job involving the engineering and assembly of communications towers lost their lives.  Today two senior employees of Efficient Tower Services were crushed when they plunged from a height of a hundred and twenty feet. While the men may have survived the fall, the tower section they were connecting atop the structure came crashing upon them. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was at the scene of the accident and files this report.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A freak accident during the erection of a hundred and fifty foot monopole tower in St. Margaret’s Village has left two riggers dead.  Keith Nicholas and nineteen Michael Pandy, both employees of Efficient Tower Services, were in the process of securing a thirty foot tower section to a structure on a hill behind Over the Top Restaurant & Bar when the gauge wire attached to a crane that was lifting the section snapped.  It is a high risk job and while both were said to practice safety it is believed that they were on the tower section while it was being lifted when the steel cable gave way.

 

james loague

James Loague, Proprietor, Efficient Tower Services

“From what I gathered from one of the employees that while the crane was lifting the section, he is not sure if the cable snapped or what happened but the section came back down and crushed two of the employees.”

Isani Cayetano

“I understand that both of them have died as a result of this incident. Can you speak to us from what you know of the injuries that were sustained?”

James Loague

“From what I ought at the hospital, both received very serious injuries. Michael had some cut to his throat. I know his leg was terribly broken. Keith suffered the same injury but I believe he also suffered internal injury and probably that’s what made him succumb to his injury too.”

Isani Cayetano

“You have been in this business for over thirty years James. It would seem as though it is the first such a tragic accident is happening with regards to the type of work that you do. Speak to us a bit about that.”

James Loague

“Thirty-four years is not a little bit of years and all the guys who work with me can confess that I’m always preaching safety. That makes the job start and that ends the job also. I’ve never seen something like this before; I’ve never heard something like this before. I heard people fall off tower from very high up in the states and they were killed on the site too but in front of me with people who I work with or employees, it never happened.”

According to Loague his company was contracted by Telemedia to erect a first of its kind tower in the Stann Creek Valley.  Loague then subcontracted Henry Rempel of New Buildings Ltd. to provide a crane for the lifting of the tower sections.  The force with which the section came crashing into the ground partially damaged the base of the tower with it severely breaking Pandy’s leg.  On the ground near the fallen tower laid a piece of Pandy’s femur.

James Loague

“This is a really terrible. It makes me very nervous. I can’t think, I’m not hungry. I don’t know what to do. I could only ask god for strength and take it from there. That’s all I can do.”

Isani Cayetano

“How long have these guys been working for your company?”

James Loague

“Keith has about a little over six years and Michael a little over a year. But they were great workers man. I can’t take anything from them. They would go and do just about anything to get the job done. I neva had any day that they neva show up and not ready to work. They were always there and I could always thank them for that. But this one dah wah real dent in my mind mein and I am not sure if I could continue with the business on a whole, but god will take me to something that I need to do.”

It is not certain at this point whether work on the erection of the tower in St. Margaret’s Village will continue. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Efficient Tower Services is one of few companies operating in the setting up and maintenance of the telecom towers across the country.  After having been in business for several years, it’s the first time the company has suffered a fatal accident.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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32 Responses for “Fall from Tower leads to death of two men”

  1. Sean Clare MD says:

    Keith Nicholas was my cousin. To hear that he died such a horrible death, that could have been prevented is a travesty. His death and that of the other young man should not be forgotten.
    I hope that measures are taken so that this never happens again. Here we are, the family, left to pick up the pieces of a life that was cut short. What a shame.

  2. rootsman says:

    Don’t want to make this any worse than it is on any one but correct me if I am wrong we are talking safety here the boss is present the crane is lifting a section of tower to be installed on another section that was already installed and these two guys are hitching a ride on the section that is being lifted instead of climbing the already anchored section, is this what we call safety measures? Sad very sad indeed.

  3. Christine/London says:

    I feel for the families of these men. I know from experience what they are going through and my prayers go out to them.
    …………………

  4. Louis says:

    International Standards for safety were clearly not being used. There was no secondary cable system attached to the tower section. At this height the men should NEVER have been harnessed to the 3rd section; where was the supervisor? No engineer or technician was on duty with experience in monotower installation; neither from telemedia or Efficient Tower services, though it ws the FIRST installation of a Monotower of this magnitude in belize. Were the cables tested before the installation of this Highest piece of the tower? Height: weight: cable diameter & strength RATIO’s were clearly breached leading to this fatal, avoidable “accident”.

  5. jesse says:

    I dont hear nothing about this poor belizeans family been compensated,i know what the company will do for them,one of the company crook lawyers will make the family sign papers,and they will only get some money for the funeral,thats it.then the crook lawyers will turn things around making it look like if the family got thousand sof $$$$$,it happens in belize.

  6. belizeanpride says:

    my condolence to the families of the hard working men that died hoping that they find the strenght in the Lord. It’s tragic but they we’re working and it shows how much they did love their work even do it was a risky one.

  7. Charles Green says:

    My son was a good friend of Michael, sincere condolences to the families of both. Hopefully the company, Efficient Tower Company had adequate insurance to ease the loss of these 2 young men to their families. Hopefully Social Security will not say Michael did not have enough payments to be eligible for funeral assistance. Sad loss, 2 fine young hard working men lost

  8. JOSE says:

    Am feeling so sad what i hear this morning because i am a tower climber to.The message that i give to all tower climber is that if the bass no the pay life insurance for them. Make they pay for it because it is very important.

  9. Proud says:

    This is really sad. Definitely I agree with you rootsman. They should have been on the part that was already erected. Sounds like common sense to me. Hopefully their families are compensated given that they had insurance. My sympathies to them.

  10. Anika Franklin says:

    All i have to say is that i can’t believe this happened my grandmother told me the news tears began to form. this is a suddne death. I don’t even know how to feel anymore. R.I.P KEITH NICOLAS I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

  11. Anika Franklin says:

    Keith is my brother. i can’t believe this happened my grandmother told me the news tears began to form. this is sudden death. I don’t even know how to feel anymore. R.I.P KEITH NICOLAS I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

  12. Tiffany Zelaya says:

    Keith was my cousin, this is a very rough time for the entire family, it truly was a sudden death, and one that we can only accept and try to deal with. My heart goes out teh the family of the other young man, Michael, as well. May they both rest in peace….. Keith, we will all miss you very very much. Love Tif

  13. Dre says:

    My condolences to the families of Keith and Nicholas, they were both hardworking and dedicated individuals. ETS ENSURES THAT ALL ITS EMPLOYEES ARE ENSURED BEFORE EACH CONTRACTED JOBS. Both men were NOT ATTACHED to an UNATTACHED of the tower, but were harness to the already attached PORTION of the tower.

  14. TUTTY says:

    I AGREE WITH YOU JESSE.

  15. Robert says:

    Sad loss of two brave, hard working young men. My heart goes out to the families. Being a Rigger is a very risky job but they do it pride. Not many people in the Belize have the knowledge a Rigger does. They were properly train and were taught safety measure. If all happen too quickly, and its sad. But for everyone who wasn’t on site and don’t know the job of a Rigger to sit and assume “rootsman” and “proud” yes its common sense they weren’t hiking a ride, no one will ever hike a ride on a moving crane. until u work the field and know the job, your better off not saying anything. That’s the big problem with Belizean people they sit and assume and judge things they don’t know. Efficient Tower Service the only business in the entire Belize has all the training, the tools and equipment needed to perform jobs like these. Compare to the other 1 one business who doesn’t have anything” enough knowledge, equipment, men nor insurance”. And “Jesse” they were insured and no crooked lawyer will come in and take what their family is entitled to, your ignorance goes along way.

    I know these men and the owner of the business, I’ve seen them in action. It’s unfortunate they die doing what they loved. RIP Keith aka dread and Micheal aka coolie buoy, gotten but not forgotten.

  16. Proud says:

    My sympathies, Anika.

  17. Whitney Clare says:

    It’s very sad to see that 2 harding working men had 2 die like this. RIP Keith

  18. Dre says:

    Thanks you Robert for enlightening “rootsman” “proud” and “Jessie” their ignorance will go along way. Once again this was a tragic lost for both their immediate families and the family of ETS.

  19. rootsman says:

    Ok Robert you said your part I was not assuming anything like I said correct me if I am wrong, I was only stating from what was said in the news article as was quoted here is an excerpt of that article (” It is a high risk job and while both were said to practice safety it is believed that they were on the tower section while it was being lifted when the steel cable gave way.”) and I’ll repeat that ” they were on the tower section while it was being lifted “

  20. Louis says:

    @ Robert and Dre… I was a part of the first media house to be on site after the accident occured. I spoke to personally to 2 eyewitnesses who WERE NOT WORKING WITH ETS. Do not try to cover ETS. Both men were strapped to the loose tower portion and lifted into the air close to 100ft when the cable broke. My eyewitnesses rushed to the area and helped the crane operator use some of the cable to hoist the portion of the tower that had fallen on the men’s feet pinning them down. .. It is a lie when anyone says it is the cable that did the damage. I got witnesses… what do you have???????

  21. Manford says:

    Folks the world watched and transferred emotions to the family of the 33 men that were trapped in a mine in Chile for 69 days. We can only call that a miracle for lact of certainty when all of them were brought out alive in reasonable good health. In contrast, the two men sufferred the same faith at the same time for the same reason. What want to say is: we will never know fully the substantial reality of accident(s).We live in an imperfect world, and only our faith that a Righteous Heavenly Father knows best, and that the soul that He gave to each of us in the final analysis will go back to Him to do as he see best. And this is whether we die at nine or ninty nine. God bless.

  22. rootsman says:

    Louis thanks for clarifying that.

  23. tek it says:

    Robert, who paid you to come cover for ETS? Glad that Rootsman, put you in check; if you even took your time to read the article you would have realized it was right there in the article, “…it is believed that they were on the tower section while it was being lifted when the steel cable gave way.”

    Dre, you are just as retarded, Robert was referring to Belizeans like you when he said, “…your ignorance goes along way.”

    Back to Robert – “..it’s common sense they weren’t hiking a ride..” that statement makes no sense if you said it was common sense that no one should hike a ride, then that would make sense.

    Then you go on to state: “Belizean people they sit and assume and judge things they don’t know.” This statement is just ignorant and prejudicial; you are either a foreigner who can’t help yourself in looking down on ‘third’ world people or a self-hating Belizean or an ETS brown-noser.

    My take: these guys made a dire mistake and disavowed their safety training and suffered the ultimate price. Sad, no matter what happened and how.

  24. Shirley says:

    I met Keith in September while visiting Belize. My prayers go up for his family. He was a nice young man and I have much respect for him.

  25. fred says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this incident and i feel and share my sympathy to all of the deceased family’s and friends. In God we should trust and when the time comes God will say you have done enough and then he will send and call for u.Please help these people clear the thoughts of this death and may the Lord continue to shower his blessings on their family. Be faithful and hope for the best. Thanks

  26. tanisha says:

    this was sad to hear because i know Keith a.k.a RAS and Micheal better know as Miguel for the past couple years sad things do happen but i wish u guys can com back.rest in peace mien we will meet again someday!!!!!!Miguel tanya mis and love you because she is still waiting for u to come back.anyways my deepest sympathy to ur family….REST IN PEACE

  27. tanya smith says:

    its been a year since i know u Micheal known to me as miggy u didn’t deserve to die like this.i wish i can bring u back but don’t worry one day i will be there i couldn’t take it when i hear because u told me u will be back.you and Keith were two young man that was always happy i hope u could have been here again.anyways i will always love u may god be with u!!!!!!!!

  28. stephanie says:

    You guys are gone but would never be forgotten. we will meet in heaven where friendship never ends. I’ve met these guys last year while they were working in pg and they were always nice to me.can’t believe they leave so quick.R.I.P boys

  29. Ras Sher says:

    Keith was a blessed person i really miss him so much, One Love Ras Keith mi love yu, You are gone but will never be forgotten,

  30. karina cabral pandy says:

    micheal and keith was the most hard working and honest young mens you could find they were dedicated to everything they did, micheal i will miss you so much from wifey and keith u know your baby girl will always hold in mind and in my heart. and one sad year has pass by so quick and still there words that could never explain the pain my heart holds, and yesterday was keith birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and mike yours is on saturday HAPPY BIRTHDAY AS WELL they will both be celebrated in remembrance of you guys. untill we meet again R.I.P gone but not forgotten!!!!! muah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Gina Hyde says:

    I was engaged to michael..i miss u baby..on December 17th of 2011 we would have made it official and i would have been an Official PANDY..Can’t believe that you’re gone.We spent the entire night discussing our future. Still can’t believe that you left from the safety of my home early that morning to get such devastating news that you were gone..hurts alot mein. Just saying that I love u sweety and i miss u a lot.. from your entire family and your sister… WE LOVE AND MISS U MIKE..LOVE YOU and sleep on!!!

  32. Catherine says:

    I knew Michael for like 3 years and he was a respectful, hard working young man! We met by the Gas station in Ladyville and from that moment we became inseprable.. We lost touch because of long distance and when i heard that you passed away i was ashame of myself because i found out 2 years after!! Only God knows why he took you away so early.. You will be surley missed!! I will not forget the first time we talked for hours about life and the time we danced in San Pedro.. I miss u tonzz but we will meet again some day in that special place called heaven! Love You Michael Pandy (( Spraga)) Still remember your phrase.. ” Stop hate & Appreiate “”

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