Old Everetts Cola Bottling Plant building partially collapses

EVERETTS, N.C. (WNCT) – A building in Everetts partially collapsed around 1 p.m. Monday. Officials said the cause looks to be old age.

The Everetts Cola Bottling Plant near the intersection of North Broad Street and Barnhill Street in Everetts dates back to the early 1900’s.

The concerns moving forward are safety and what happens with the nearby train track.

“It could have been a disaster if there had been a car or a person in this area at that time,” said Timmie Modlin, Martin County Assistant Emergency Manager. “We are thankful that there was no injuries at this time.”

The build sits just feet away from businesses that have steady foot traffic.

“Most concern was the post office because we’ve got to keep that open so everybody can get their mail,” said Mayor Ray Deans, who found out about the collapse from a county commissioner.

The building sits just feet away from a railroad track that carries CSX trains. Officials say the train comes through twice a day, and are concerned what that could now do to the compromised building.

“If that were to come through town now with the collapse that we’ve had, the vibration on the ground, how that’s going to affect the stability of what is still standing with this building,” Modlin said.

There is also a power box next to the building that controls the crossing arms for the rail, and officials worry a further collapse of the structure could damage the box and prevent the gates from going down.

To mitigate the danger, an excavator arrived Monday evening to knock down portions of the building that were on the verge of collapsing.

The road will likely remain closed until at least mid-day Tuesday. Those traveling in the area are asked to avoid the section of Everetts.

The owners of the building still have a car shop in the back, and were there on Sunday. They said they are just glad no one was hurt.

A deputy will remain on scene to prevent looters from taking anything over night. The scene will be re-accessed in the morning.

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