Stadium Light Falls at GCISD Mustang-Panther Stadium - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Stadium Light Falls at GCISD Mustang-Panther Stadium

Poles being removed, inspected



    The stadium lights at Mustang-Panther Stadium in Colleyville are being removed after one of the poles fell over the weekend. (Published Monday, Aug. 27, 2012)

    The stadium lights at Mustang-Panther Stadium in Grapevine are being removed after one of the poles fell over the weekend.

    The remaining lights are being removed as a precaution and replaced with new lights.

    Officials with the district said the pole fell at about noon on Saturday. There were crews working on the track at the time, but the pole fell on a grassy hill away from the bleachers.

    "They (the workers) heard the crack, they heard the crash but everyone was safe," said Megan Overman, Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District spokeswoman.

    The light pole collapse comes three years after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission first issued an alert about the light poles manufactured by the now defunct Whitco Company of Fort Worth. A year later, in July 2010, the CPSC issued a Recall to Repair notice regarding the light poles after 11 collapses were reported to the CPSC.

    No injuries were reported in Grapevine, or in the other incidents.

    District officials say an outside engineer inspected all the district's light poles three years ago, when there were several other reported instances of stadium lights failing. Officials have not confirmed if the poles installed at Mustang-Panther Stadium were made by the same manufacturer, Whitco.

    "I can't confirm that those are those types of poles, but it really doesn't matter," Overman said. "All four of those poles around the stadium will be replaced."

    A 159-page document on the CPSC website lists places that may have the affected poles. On page three, Mustang-Panther Stadium is listed as having the poles delivered in May 2000. Overman said another site at the district has the recalled poles. Those will now be replaced, regardless of their condition, and crews were busy removing the remaining poles at the stadium after finding some wear and tear, she said.

    "We see some signs of wear on the other poles, and we're not going to take any chances," Overman said. "In addition to that, we're also going to be doing an engineering study on all the high-mast poles across the district to ensure the safety of those as well."

    The district said an engineer inspected the poles three years ago and spot checks have been done every year since.

    "This is just one of those cases where it wasn't caught," Overman said.

    She said the district is fortunate that a large activity wasn't going on when the collapse happened.
    Some junior varsity games scheduled for this week at the stadium will be moved to other fields. The first varsity football game isn't scheduled until Sept. 6, and the district hopes new lights will be installed by then to allow the game to go forward, Overman said.

    A message left with the CPSC to see if there have been any additional incidents was not returned.

    NBC 5's Chris Van Horne contributed to this report.