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Massive recall of stadium light poles

Post by Doug Pacey / The News Tribune on July 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm with No Comments »
July 7, 2010 4:18 pm

Four Washington high schools were listed in a government safety agency report as sites with potentially faulty stadium light poles that can crack and fall. Click here to read the report and click here to see the list of potentially affected sites.

Auburn Mountainview, Nathan Hale, Mount Vernon and Rainier Beach high schools were among the hundreds of sites nationwide that the Consumer Product Safety Commission included in a report it released on Monday that might be affected. According to the report, the poles, which can weigh as much as four tons, “can fracture or crack and fall over, posing a risk of serious injury or death to patrons and bystanders from being hit or crushed.”

Here's what happens when a pole collapses on a football field.

Here's what happens when a pole rips through a roof of a gymnasium.

Randall Thomas, director of maintenance and operations for the Auburn School District, said the district was notified last year about the potential dangers. An inspection was completed in October that revealed no structural damage.

“The inspector came in and found (the poles) to be sound,” said Thomas.

Mayes Testing Engineers of Tacoma performed the inspection, which was paid for by Qualite Sports Lighting of Hillsdale, Mich., Thomas said. Qualite installed 17 poles around the football and baseball fields and tennis courts when the school opened in 2004.

In the last decade, 11 poles have fallen – some crashing through buildings and ripping open roofs – though there have been no injuries. More than 2,500 poles were installed at hundreds of locations around the country.

In addition to the four high schools, 13 other sites in Washington were on the CPSC’s list. It includes Burien’s Moshier Park, Bothell’s North Creek Sportsfields, Moses Lake’s Lion’s Field, Marysville’s Strawberry Field, Denny Middle School in Seattle and port-related businesses in Longview, Vancouver and Seattle.

The manufacturer, Whitco Company LP of Fort Worth, Texas, is no longer in business.

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