Yesterday the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission issued a safety alert to warn the public and safety officials of the possibility that certain steel stadium light poles can fracture or crack causing them come crashing down. This failure poses a significant risk to bystanders of being crushed and/or killed by the enormous falling poles.
The poles in question are manufactured by Whitco Co. of Ft. Worth, Texas. The CPSC is aware of nin incidents in poles manufactured by Whitco and installed between 2000 and 2006 have fallen. In one of the confirmed incidents the pole fell through the roof of the gymnasium, and in two other cases the pole fell onto outdoor bleachers, all causing extensive damage.
The CPSC has also confirmed that another 50 Whitco poles that have not fallen did show evidence of cracking and fractures in the welds joining the pole to its stable base plate.
Almost all of the incidents have occurred in Whitco’s home state of Texas. The poles can commonly be found at outdoor stadiums and recreation parks.
The CPSC recommends that all Whitco Co. LP stadium poles be inspected immediately by a qualified professional to reduce the risk of additional falling poles.
The CPSC is continuing their investigation into this matter to determine if other similar outdoor stadium poles may pose similar fall risks.
For more information and stunning pictures of falled stadium poles visit the CPSC website here.