Former Dow headquarters unexpectedly ‘pancakes’ during demolition

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MIDLAND, MI — No one was injured when the last of the former global headquarters of The Dow Chemical Co. unexpectedly collapsed Thursday morning while a portion of it was being demolished, a company spokesperson confirmed. The building, located along East Patrick Avenue near Business US-10 in Midland, experienced “weakening in the structure as part of the demolition project” at about 8:15 a.m. Thursday, May 24, according to spokesperson Jarrod Erpelding.
No one was hurt as the remaining upright part of the structure collapsed, Erpelding said during a phone call with MLive. “Employee and contract worker safety was effectively managed resulting in no injuries,” he said. “An emergency response team is on site to ensure a continued focus on safety and management of the job site.”
Midland Fire Department sent out two engines, a rescue truck and a battalion chief to the scene after receiving a call from Dow, said Assistant Fire Chief Josh Mosher, who also responded. The department remained at the property for about 20 minutes to ensure everyone was safe and there were no hazards resulting from what looked like three stories of a corner of the building collapsing on top of each other, which Mosher described as “pancaking.”
Having heard rumors swirling around Midland of a possible asbestos cloud, Mosher said Dow already completed necessary asbestos abatement practices ahead of the planned demolition. “They are probably seeing concrete or general dust from the building coming down,” Mosher said. Dow also confirmed potentially hazardous materials from the former headquarters building was removed ahead of demolition. The company completed the construction of its new six-story, 184,000-square-foot Global Dow Center in July 2017, which replaces the former 2020 Willard H. Dow Center in Midland and is part of the company’s 150-acre corporate headquarters campus located off East Patrick Road.

By Jessica Haynes jhaynes1@mlive.com

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