Ammonia leak believed responsible for 3 deaths at Fernie, BC, arena

Ammonia leak believed responsible for 3 deaths at Fernie, BC, arena

Andrew Cummings
October 18, 2017

A B.C. resort town has declared a state of emergency because of the threat posed by a gas leak that has already killed three people.

An evacuation order is in effect for all homes between 9 Street and 13 Street, and between Highway 3 and 6 Avenue.

Homes and businesses in the area, including a retirement home, have been evacuated.

Emergency crews were called to the Fernie Memorial Arena in Fernie, B.C. late Tuesday morning — a town already dealing with sporadic power outages and damage from high winds. Ruiter said there were no injuries in addition to the deaths.

Craig Mohr, coach and general manager of the Fernie Ghostriders junior hockey team, said the team was told early Tuesday that the arena was closed.

He said WorkSafeBC had been contacted about the incident and the RCMP was leading the investigation at the site.

"We're still concerned about some ammonia leaking into the environment", he said. RCMP are now in control of the scene.

"Like every British Columbian, my heart breaks for the loved ones of those involved and the entire close-knit community of Fernie". "If it turns out that it is Fernie people, we will be there for the families".

A ministry of labour spokesperson said counselling would be made available to family and colleagues of the deceased.

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