| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free e-book! Overcoating bridges and other structures.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Plant Collapse Kills 1, Injures 1

Monday, February 18, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

One worker has died and another has been injured after the collapse of a coal-fired power plant being demolished in Pampa, TX.

The workers were hit by pieces of the former Celanese Plant complex that fell about 40 feet, authorities said.

The plant's coal boiler and 300-foot stack were imploded Dec. 16, and workers have been working to clear the site since then.

Worker Trapped

The building collapse occurred about 2:40 p.m. Feb. 9, the Gray County Sheriff’s Office said.

Celanese Plant Demolition
Sportscast17 via YouTube

The accident occurred during cleanup following implosion of plant structures on Dec. 16.

The sheriff's office, Pampa EMS, Pampa Fire Department and Hoover Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene, the sheriff’s office told

One worker was transported to Pampa Regional Medical Center after the collapse, but the other was trapped in the debris, authorities said.

The area was initially unsafe for rescue personnel because a part of the building covering a conveyor chute was still attached to the building, authorities said.

By the time emergency workers were cleared to reach the trapped worker, it was too late.

Jesus J. Ramirez-Chavez, 44, of Pampa, TX,Ramirez-Chavez was pronounced dead at the scene about 5:30 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.

The other worker was not identified.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

Development Plans

The building collapse occurred amid the Pampa Energy Center’s project to demolish a former coal-fired power plant, said Ron Nelson of Open Range Engineering, the company that manages the site.

Pampa Economic Development Corp., which owns the industrial park, planned the demolition because of lack of interest in developing the coal-fired plant.

The 4,000-acre site, with more than 40 buildings, was purchased in 2007 by Australian investment bank Babcock & Brown in 2007 and renamed Pampa Energy Center LLC, according to the Amarillo Globe News.

Celanese plant collapse

The body of Jesus J. Ramirez-Chavez was recovered hours after the collapse.

The firm planned to turn the site into a 160-megawatt coal plant, but "later declared its shares worthless and began selling off assets," the newspaper reported.

Chemical maker Celanese, which once employed hundreds, originally opened in 1952.

'Somewhat Risky'

The current demolition project involved two contractors, Bayville, NJ-based Universal Wrecking Corp. and Iron Rock, who were working at the time for Open Range, the local CBS affiliate reported.

"Demolition of equipment by nature is somewhat risky or difficult," said Nelson.

Nevertheless, Nelson told the affiliate, the two subcontractors were selected for their clean safety records.

"You know that was part of the process in selecting contractors as selecting people that had zero OSHA incident ratings or things in the past," Nelson told the station. "We've hired what we believe to be competent, capable people that have had a very unfortunate accident."

He added: "We have great concern for the family and it's a very disappointing situation we find ourselves in. We're going to do our very best to make sure we don't find ourselves in a situation like this ever again."


Tagged categories: Building owners; Demolition; Facility Managers; Fatalities; Health and safety; OSHA; Power Plants; Workers

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Desco Mfg. Co., Inc.

Steel Fabrication

• Shipyards
• Plate Fabrication
• Structural Steel
• Maintenance

DESCO Mfg.Co., Inc.


The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

Novetas Solutions
Safer Abrasive! 100% Recycled Glass!

NO Free Silica, Beryllium or other human Toxins! Great White Metal Finish and safer than Slags!
Call us at 866-775- 6226

The latest in Protective Coatings Technology

Examines every generic
type of protective coating
in detail, along with advantages and disadvantages of each. Add it to your library in print or ebook!

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement

Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.

Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station

We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. or Call 412-931-6655.

Corrosion Probe, Inc.
From Detection to Correction

Corrosion Probe, Inc. has the Most Concrete Coatings Experience and Expertise. Contact us today at

Blastman Robotics Ltd.
Robotic Blast Cleaning

Replace manual blasting with new Blastman robot models. Contact us to boost your production and save costs!

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!

CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail