By Ashlie Walter and John Miller
The Exponent Telegram
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration is investigating the collapse of two cell phone towers that killed three men Saturday morning near Summit Park.
Nutter Fort Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Michael Garrett and two Oklahoma contractors were killed when two cell phone towers collapsed near Summit Park, police said.
OSHA spokeswoman Leni Fortson told The Exponent Telegram Sunday that the agency is concerned about an alarming increase in the number of injuries and fatalities on communication tower work sites.
“As of September 2013, there had been a total of 14 incidents, which is more than the last two years combined,” she said in an email.
However, the two companies involved with the local incident, SNS Communications and SBA Communications, don’t appear to have a history of safety issues, according to the OSHA database. SBA had one safety complaint in the past 10 years.
SNS Communications was doing contract work on the towers, which are owned by SBA Communications.
SBA Communications Corp., is based in Boca Raton, Fla., and is the independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure across North, Central and South America. It owns more than a dozen sites in West Virginia, according to its website, and owns or operates more than 2,000 across the globe.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the injuries to the other individuals, and our prayers and concern go out to the families involved,” SBA spokeswoman Lynne Hopkins said.
The company is fully cooperating with any investigation by governmental agencies, Hopkins said.
Police on Sunday released the names of the victims and three other people injured when the towers collapsed while workers were replacing diagonal supports.
Garrett, 28, of Clarksburg, had arrived on scene as part of the rescue effort when he was struck by debris as the second tower collapsed, State Police Cpl. Mark Waggamon said.
Kyle Kirkpatrick, 32, of Hulbert, Okla., and Terry Lee Richard Jr., 27, of Bokoshe, Okla., were identified as the dead workers, who were employed by SNS Communications, police said.
Two others workers and another firefighter also were injured in the accident, which occurred around 11:37 a.m. off Murphy’s Run Road…