Tim Phifer had tried all he could to take down a 158-foot smokestack remotely. When that failed, though, he climbed into an excavator. The digging machine did the job, but something went horribly wrong as the huge tower began to fall.
Phifer, a native of Pell City, Alabama, was a construction worker by trade. As such, he presumably relied on his knowledge of building – and demolishing – as he attempted to take down the 115-year-old smokestack.
The old structure was part of an historical site in its local area. It was once a part of Avondale Mills, a chain of textile mills located mainly in Alabama, although there were factories in South Carolina and Georgia, too.