WWMT - wwmt.com - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Workers escape roof collapse at machine shop on D Avenue

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Employees escaped in the nick of time Tuesday, mere seconds before a roof came crashing down around them.

Henry Kalkman, the owner of J.K. Machining just outside Kalamazoo claims he heard one crack after another, and warned his workers to get out.

Kalkman says he heard a loud popping sound but when he saw a visible crack form in the ceiling, that's when he knew it was time to leave.

An area normally filled with the sounds of high speed metal grinders and drills is now eerily silent.

"There was a large crack running along the length of the ceiling," Kalkman said. "I told my guys it would probably be a good idea to get out."

Luckily, they did.

Just moments later, the rooftop above the main manufacturing area came crashing down on top of what Kalkman estimates to be $1 million worth of equipment.

Since 1980, the company has manufactured plastic injection molds for the local automotive market; ironically, one of their main selling points is on-time delivery.

"We work for the automotive industry, and deadlines are deadlines," Kalkman said, adding he has already contacted his customers to warn of delivery delays.

Kalkman says he's also spoken with his insurance adjuster, and found a temporary place for his equipment.

"We are very blessed," he said.

For now, more than anything, he's just thankful the loss wasn't worse.

"God gave us a warning, and it was that crack in the ceiling," Kalkman said. "We are very blessed that everybody made it out, nobody got hurt and all of our friends have come around and said what can we do to help."

At 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, a crane is scheduled to lift the roof off of J.K. Machining so the company can move its equipment.

Its plan is to rebuild.