Horrific death at Sagres’ circle of military antennae

Friday saw a horrific work-related accident at the bleak spot that houses Air Force communications masts in Sagres.

A 38-year-old maintenance man was killed outright when the mast he was working on suddenly doubled up on itself.

Nélson da Silva is understood to have been “crushed” by the metal structure which was so unstable that Vila do Bispo firemen had to enlist the help of a special rescue ladder from Lagos.

Sadly, the reporting of the body recovery by an Algarve news service elicited a wave of outrage from Silva’s family and many others.

Sulinformação posted a three-minute clip on Youtube showing men on the aerial ladder approaching the broken mast, with Silva’s body clearly visible throughout.

A woman who presented herself as Silva’s cousin said the service should have had more respect for the dead man’s family.

They certainly did not know him, she said. And they clearly hadn’t considered how they would feel if he had been a member of their own family.

“Liberty of Expression is one thing”, Vera Lúcia Ribeiro concluded. “But respect for others is another”.

Other expressions of shock stressed the “mania for filming everything” when this was essentially a family’s heartbreak.

Rederegional, a website based in Silva’s home district of Santarém, revealed he left a wife and two young children.

Meantime, a spokesperson for the Air Force has said it laments Silva’s fatal accident, which will now be investigated by the authority that governs working conditions.

Setronix, the Salvaterra de Magos-based company for which Silva worked, has said it is in touch with the dead man’s family and will be making a statement later in the week.

An eyewitness to the horror, Bruno Esperança, told Correio da Manhã that Silva “had been working on the masts for a number of days with two colleagues.

When the mast gave way, Silva was “left hanging in his harness”.

Death, said Esperança, was immediate.

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