A worker plunged approximately 500 feet to his death this afternoon from a Newton communications tower, authorities said.
The man fell from the old WHDH-TV tower on Chestnut Street, a landmark along Route 128. Authorities said he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The circumstances are under investigation by the State Police and the Middlesex district attorney’s office.
Jessica Pastore, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said the man had been doing repairs. There were other repairmen on the 1,200-foot-tall tower at the time, but none of them were injured.
Investigators from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration are on the scene, she said, but the incident appeared to be an accident and “there doesn’t appear to be anything suspicious or any criminality.”
She said the man appeared to be from out of state. The district attorney’s office would not release the man’s name because it appeared to be an accident, she said.
Matt Peterson, vice president of communications for American Tower Corp., which owns the structure, said the man who fell was a contractor installing a safety ladder and doing routine maintenance. The incident occurred at about 1 p.m. The tower is active, with both radio and TV equipment on it, he said.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of one of our contractors. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and co-workers during this difficult time. We are working closely with the relevant authorities and cooperating fully with all inquiries into the cause of this tragic accident. We have suspended all work at this site pending a thorough review of this incident,” he said in a statement.
The tower at 1165 Chestnut St. is 1,253 feet tall, according to Federal Communications Commission records.