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Man falls to his death from tower

It is not known why he climbed the 375-foot radio tower, say Phoenix police who tried to save him.

The Associated Press

PHOENIX – An unidentified man who climbed a 375-foot radio tower fell to his death as the lightning rod he had grabbed after a slip bent and sent him plunging.

”We don’t know if he went up there to jump. We may never know,” said Detective Mike McCullough, a police spokesman.

Police sent up a helicopter in an attempt to talk the man down yesterday but were unable to get close enough because of strong wind and fears that the air currents generated by the helicopter blades would knock the man off the tower, McCullough said.

Television footage showed the man leaning into the wind and taunting the crowd as he stood on the tower’s platform for about 90 minutes, though the crowd largely couldn’t hear him because of the wind.

For a time he straddled a cone-shaped device topping the tower.

Then he appeared to make a misstep as he attempted to move about the tiny platform. He grabbed the lightning rod on which he had hung his jacket, but the pole bent under his weight and the man, still gripping a reddish scarflike cloth in one hand, fell to his death.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Associated Press An unidentified man falls off a 375-foot radio tower in central Phoenix yesterday. Police didn’t know why he was on the tower.

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