Workers rescued after lift stalls 120-feet up on radio tower
Workers painting a radio tower in downtown Belleville got stuck near the top for almost three hours in 90-degree heat and bright sun Thursday afternoon, because of malfunctioning lift equipment.
The workers, who were not identified, were finally brought down from the tower around 3 p.m., after a second aerial lift was brought in to get the men down — one at a time.
An ambulance and fire crews were standing by when the men were rescued. They did not require medical attention and were kept from speaking to news media at the scene.
Washington Street was blocked off so a second lift could get into position near the tower, which is located next to Belleville City Hall.
The men were painting the tower and were using a rented lift. Officials said their bucket was more than 120 feet high when it got stuck.
Belleville Fire Chief Tom Pour said the men seemed to hot but otherwise fine. They expected to be working in the heat but did not have water with them.
The fire department was called around 1:50 p.m. but does not have an aerial device high enough to reach the men. As a result, rescuers had to wait for an auxiliary crane to be brought in, Pour said.
By 3:45 p.m., the malfunctioning crane had been removed from the communications tower, after repairmen from RG Rents fixed electrical problems that caused the issue.
Crews couldn’t work on the machine with men on it, so company repair crews had to wait until the men were safely on the ground to bring the crane down, a company repairman said.
The city’s tower was being repainted as part of a multimillion-dollar renovation at City Hall.