Spirit AeroSystems Shuts Down Wichita Plant After Storm
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa company is keeping a close eye on its sister facility in Wichita following this weekend's storms. Spirit AeroSystems has shut down operations there because of damage to its buildings.
Spirit AeroSystems employs nearly 2,000 people at its facilities here in Tulsa. But their focus right now is in Kansas as the company takes inventory from the storm.
An EF-3 tornado with winds at 165 MPH tore through Wichita, Kansas Saturday night. Spirit AeroSystems 45-building campus took a direct hit.
Daylight shows debris scattered everywhere around the aerospace company's property. Sides of the buildings are ripped apart and power poles that surround the facility are snapped in two.
Spirit builds the fuselage for Boeing's 737 commercial airliner here in Wichita. A company spokeswoman told the Wichita Eagle that all of the buildings were damaged but the production equipment as well as the airplane parts were unharmed.
In a statement Spirit's President and CEO said, "We are thankful that none of our employees were injured in this event and we continue to remain focused on safety as we assess damage and execute our recovery plans."
More than 180 miles away, Spirit's facility in Tulsa builds smaller parts for Boeing airliners.
It's not clear how the problems in Wichita are impacting things in Tulsa. The phone and internet service here in Tulsa goes through Wichita and it's been down all day.
One employee said the technical problems are causing some headaches since employees can't reach vendors or other contacts.
Outside of that there's been no word from Spirit about any potential ripple effects from the damage in Wichita.
Spirit has closed operations in Wichita while it assesses the extent of the damage and determines it's safe for employees. The company doesn't plan to reopen until, at least, Wednesday.