Members of the Courtenay Fire Department assist with an ammonia leak at the Comox Valley Sports Centre on Vanier Drive Thursday evening. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Ammonia leak triggers evacuation of B.C. hockey arena

The Comox Valley Sports Centre was evacuated Thursday evening while crews contained the leak

A Vancouver Island hockey arena was evacuated Thursday evening for just over an hour because of an ammonia leak.

Shortly after 8 p.m., the Courtenay Fire Department was dispatched to the Comox Valley Sports Centre at 3001 Vanier Drive as an alarm detected the leak.

Deputy fire chief Dennis Henderson said staff from the arena did a great job evacuating patrons from the facility which includes two arenas, a 25-metre pool, wellness centre and sauna.

“The (detection equipment) did what it was supposed to do and staff evacuated the centre. The cause of the leak is unknown but it was contained to one room.”

RELATED: Three dead after ammonia leak in Fernie, city says

He explained the ammonia was measured at 500 ppm at the time of the alarm.

Once the levels dropped down, a refrigeration specialist was able to enter the facility, and patrons were allowed to re-enter the building around 9:30 p.m.

There were no injuries reported.

The Comox Valley Regional district confirmed following an investigation, the issue was resolved and the facility is at full operations Friday morning.

The leak was discovered in a high pressure cut out at the safety monitor in the ammonia system.

“Our staff at the facility are well trained and responded to the situation immediately to ensure the safety of the public and staff,” said Jesse Ketler, chair of the Comox Valley Sports Commission in a press release.

“Because of the good decisions of all involved, this situation was quickly and safely resolved.”

The system was serviced in July 2019 and the CVRD confirmed maintenance is up to date. Technical Safety BC and WorkSafe BC will conduct a follow-up investigation, which is standard protocol anytime an ammonia alarm is triggered.

In October 2017, three people died following an ammonia leak at a hockey arena in Fernie.

Earlier this year, a brewery in Creston was evacuated due to an ammonia leak, while another leak shut down the Nelson Curling Club.

Ammonia is used in refrigeration – including most ice rinks – but becomes a gas once it is released into the air.



erin.haluschak@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Members of the Courtenay Fire Department assist with an ammonia leak at the Comox Valley Sports Centre on Vanier Drive Thursday evening. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Just Posted

Council meetings now closed to the public in Chilliwack

Changes comply with provincial orders for no public gatherings and help development applications

Chilliwack elementary schools roll parades through their neighbourhoods, past students’ homes

Unsworth and Central are two of many schools trying to connect teachers with students in fun way

Kinneman appointed CAO of the Fraser Valley Regional District

Her ‘experience and connection with the staff and FVRD partners was unparalleled’ says board chair

Chilliwack school district rolls out next year’s budget, expects COVID-19 costs to change things

Public is being encouraged to connect with the district with any questions about 2020/2021 budget

Chilliwack residents upset by blasting ‘nightmare’ in their hillside neighbourhood

Little Mountain neighbour says blasting ‘unconscionable’ while they’re following advice to stay home

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read