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Indiana man killed while working on cellphone tower

Posted at 1:35 PM, Jul 03, 2014
and last updated 2018-06-12 19:30:41-04

A central Indiana man was decapitated Wednesday as he worked on a cellphone tower in Kentucky.

Joel Metz, 28, of Plainfield, was killed when a cable struck him, leaving his body suspended from a tower in Harrison County, about 40 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky.

Harrison County Sheriff Bruce Hampton told WKYT-TV that Metz worked for Fortune Wireless in Indianapolis, a contractor that does tower work for numerous companies.

Investigators are trying to piece together what caused the cable to loosen, leading to Metz's death.

Officials told WKYT that three other tower workers reported hearing a loud pop before realizing what happened.

"Not too many people are used to seeing that, and it's a guy that you've been working next to," Harrison County Sheriff Bruce Hampton said. "They are just very much beside themselves."

Hampton said the workers were in the process of taking down an old boom and putting up a new one when the cable loosened and the 1,800-pound boom fell.

Metz's body was suspended 240 feet in the air for five hours before a crew was able to bring him down.

Metz was working on Verizon Wireless equipment. The company provided the following statement:

"Our thoughts are with the family, loved ones and colleagues of the worker who died in the July 2 incident near Cynthiana, Kentucky. We are working closely with our vendor and the Sheriff’s department as they continue to investigate the situation.”