UPDATE–Two communications towers collapsed after being struck by a general aviation aircraft while crop dusting, near Steward in Lee County, Illinois, according to Illinois State Police in Sterling.
The 465-foot and 250-foot towers went down as the plane clipped one or more of their guy wires. Tenants on the structures, which are owned by a farmer, Martin Ravnass, included wireless Internet service providers and various government entities, such as the FBI and the sheriff. A third, self-supported tower, owned by American Tower, was unscathed, even though it was just feet away.
The pilot, who received non-life-threatening injuries, was able to remove himself from the aircraft as the engine compartment caught fire. He was taken to Rochelle Community Hospital and then transferred to Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Ill.
The crash is being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.