Investigators working to determine cause of pipe structure collapse at Indianapolis Rolls Royce plant


Photo from the scene.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Emergency crews were called to the Rolls Royce plant on the city’s near southwest side Friday after a piping structure collapsed.

The collapse occurred just before noon. The plant is located at 2001 South Tibbs Avenue.

Crews arrived and found a 200-foot long high-pressure piping structure was what collapsed. Investigators believe there may have been a high-pressure air release prior to or during the collapse. This projected a part of the piping several hundred feet and severely damaged an out building.

“This pipeline feeds a big building in the corner there and that building contains the engine that’s getting ready to go out to our customers,” said Joel Reuter, Vice President of Communications for Rolls Royce. “To do so we have to make altitude conditions and  pressure conditions much like an aircraft would go through at 20,000 feet, so they were testing for that release of the ending. That’s when we understand one of the pipes that had the air pressure essentially gave out and as you see collapsed the structure.”

Nobody was trapped in the incident and no injuries were reported. The plant was evacuated and every employee was accounted for.

“There were a lot of people that heard it,” said Reuter. “We were very fortunate today there were not any injuries. There was nobody in the vicinity so we’re very fortunate today.”

The Wayne Township Fire Department says there was no leak of any hazardous material.

WTFD says there was damage to plant walls adjacent to the structure.

“This facility will require some infrastructure improvements and we’re already looking at that team to make sure that as soon as we can get in here to replace those pipes to do so in a very rapid fashion,” said Reuter.

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation.  Reuter said drone footage from WTFD will help them make sure this doesn’t happen again.

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