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 Michael Bergeron
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Mondo Houston: Freak Accidents

Mondo Houston: Freak Accidents
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It wouldn’t be a Halloween week without the reboot of Mondo Houston: Death Comes in Small Doses. Because if there’s one thing that’s constant it’s destiny. When your time has come, there’s nowhere you can run.

Death will find all of us, hopefully when we least expect. The following are recollections of bizarre accidents and freak occurrences that took lives in Houston over the years.

May 11, 1976: A truck carrying over 7000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia crashed on the 610 exit ramp to Highway 59. Subsequently the vehicle fell onto Highway 59 below and released a cloud of ammonia gas that killed seven motorists. Over an additional 170 people were hospitalized or treated for injuries.

December 7, 1982: A radio broadcast tower under construction was hoisting its pinnacle, a transmitting antenna when bolts on the gin pole gave way. The tower, located in Missouri City and known as the Senior Road Tower, stood at over 1900 feet at the time of the accident. (To put that in perspective consider that the Transco Tower stands just over 900 feet.) The antenna fell, severing a guy wire, which caused the entire structure to buckle, bend and collapse. The entire episode took less than 20-seconds and claimed the lives of five technicians who were either on the tower or riding the antenna to the top.

August 16, 2003: A doctor was decapitated in an elevator accident at St. Joseph Hospital. The doors closed on the victims’ head, while the carriage bolted upward, and partially ripped the head off, with the body falling down the elevator shaft. An assistant to the doctor was trapped in the elevator with the cranial remains.

– MB