By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- They illuminate football fields across the country on Friday nights. But the government has issued a recall of more than 2,000 stadium light poles. And some of those lights poles are right here in Oklahoma.
They tower more than 70 feet high. Poles that weigh up to four tons that light up stadiums, parks, and schools around the country.
But more than 2,500 of these stadium poles have an Achilles Heel.
They can fracture or crack. And fall over. In one case, the pole crashed through the roof of a school's gymnasium.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed 11 incidents in which Whitco Company poles have toppled. The most recent in Argyle, Texas.
No injuries have been reported. But in some cases have been close calls; people leaving the bleachers just moments before a pole crashed down.
And it could happen in Oklahoma. Fourteen locations around the state are listed in the recall.
On the list: Glenpool Schools, the City of Bartlesville, and the University of Tulsa's Sports Complex.
The recall document says tenpPoles were installed at Glenpool Schools in 2002. Mike Wise with Wise Electric says he installed the poles at the baseball and softball fields. He says he was surprised to learn about the recall and WhitCo's bankruptcy. Glenpool schools could not be reached for comment.
In July 2000, 10 WhitCo light poles, each at a height of 70 feet, were installed at TU's soccer and track fields on South Delaware. But a spokesperson for TU says according to their construction documents, the Whitco light poles were never used.
That could be good news for the school. Whitco filed for bankruptcy. That means cities, schools, and pole owners are stuck paying the tab to fix the problem.
To fix the situation, the poles must be inspected by an engineer for cracks near the base plate of the pole. If cracking or fractures are found, the poles must immediately be repaired or replaced.