Defective light pole collapses during removal at Little Elm ISD stadium

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by By MATTHEW HAAG / The Dallas Morning News mhaag@dallasnews.com

wfaa.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 12:25 PM

A defective light pole collapsed at Little Elm ISD's athletic stadium this week as workers tried to remove it.

The collapse is the latest incident in recent months in which stadium light poles at schools nationwide have either fallen or been removed because of serious cracks.

Even though the pole in Little Elm had cracks, school officials said an error with the crane probably caused the pole to fall on Tuesday.

"It was in the process of being removed when it fell," said Julie Zwahr, the school district's spokeswoman.

No one was injured.

Since the collapse, workers have removed another light pole at the stadium. The district also plans to remove 14 cracked light poles at its nearby baseball field when the soggy ground surrounding them dries, Zwahr said.

The poles at the baseball field were sold by now-bankrupt Whitco Co LLP, which was based in Fort Worth.

More than a dozen of the company's poles have fallen since 2007, including two at Sanger ISD near Denton last month. Several dozen Whitco poles have been removed at schools in Texas, including four at Carroll ISD's Dragon Stadium, because of hairline cracks in their bases.

Until now, all of the fallen and cracked poles were installed in the past decade and sold by Whitco.

However, the cracked poles at Little Elm's stadium, which opened in 2006, were sold by Makers Co. LLP, also of Fort Worth.

Calls to Makers on Thursday weren't immediately returned.

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