Nothing ruins a good game of slo-pitch softball with your buddies than when a 70-foot-tall light pole falls down and goes “splat” on your shortstop. Apparently this has happened enough with a particular brand of stadium light poles that the CPSC has decided to issue a recall on them.
The poles in question were manufactured by Whitco Company LP of Fort Worth, Texas, which is now out of business. Probably because they made crappy poles.
According to the CPSC, it has confirmed 11 incidents in which Whitco poles fell:
In one incident, a pole fell through the roof of a school gymnasium causing significant property damage. In two other incidents, the poles fell onto outdoor bleachers causing significant property damage. The latest incident occurred at Integrity Park Inc. in Argyle, Texas…. To date, CPSC is not aware of any injuries. However, some incidents have been close calls, with people exiting the area just minutes before a pole fell.
Additionally CPSC has identified more than 50 currently standing Whitco poles with fractures and/or cracks next to the weld that joins the pole to its base plate.
The recalled poles are made out of steel with a galvanized coating and range in height from 70′ to 135′, and weigh from about 1 to 4 tons.
CPSC says recalled poles “should be inspected by an engineer or a Level II non-destructive testing technician immediately to identify cracking at or near the weld connecting the pole to the base plate flange. A visual examination with the naked eye or with a magnifier will not determine the extent of any cracking.”
And here are some more photos of collapsed poles.