Heavy snow is likely to blame for bringing down part of the roof of a Charter Plastics Inc. facility in Titusville, Pa., about 3 p.m. March 3.
No one was inside the building, which is used both for storage and as a pallet-making shop for the plastic pipe manufacturer, according to production manager Kenneth Loker.
“Fortunately, nobody was in there,” Loker said. “It's not used much this time of year.”
Almost the entire roof caved in, particularly toward the front of the building.
“It's hard to say how much snow was on it,” Loker said of the roof. “We probably had almost a foot of snow on the building itself. It's been bad around here to say the least. We were getting snow in the early morning. Around noon I was happy to see it stopped snowing but when I walked out it was raining.”
The weight of the wet snow on a building “there for quite some time” probably dealt a double blow to the roof, Loker said.
The roof collapse is not affecting the manufacturing plant, which extrudes high density polyethylene pipe, he added.
“This doesn't damper our operations by any means,” Loker said. “We're still ramping up our pipe production for the irrigation market.”
Charter Plastics has two production facilities, several warehouses, pipe yards and corporate offices on its 30-acre campus. The company makes irrigation pipe for commercial and residential sprinkler systems as well as pipe and tubing for potable water, reclaimed water, oil and natural gas gathering, and geothermal applications.
With estimated sales of $36 million, Charter Plastics ranks No. 71 in Plastics News' survey of North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders.
The pipe maker's roof collapse is the third in the area since Feb. 8, according to the Titusville Herald. A relatively new metal roof gave way at a manufacturing facility for concrete blocks and a barn roof caved in on March 1, trapping an 18-year-old girl for about 20 minutes.