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

Fire causes significant damage to West Kelowna home

The fire was first reported at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 6.

Driver rescued after car goes down embankment near Kelowna

The Kelowna Fire Department performed the high-angle rope rescue around 7:10 p.m. on Aug. 5

UPDATE: Wildfire forces evacuation of homes between Summerland and Penticton

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

Morning Start: Water can freeze and boil at the same time

Your morning start for Thursday, August 6, 2020

Hunting cabins were built west of Summerland

Area around Darke Lake was once known as the Piggeries

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

North Okanagan police search for owner of lost iPhone

Concerned citizen turns phone into RCMP

Face masks will be mandatory for customers at all Walmart locations

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen presents bursaries worth more than $40,000

Nine endowment funds provided bursaries to 20 students within region

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Molotov cocktails thrown at Revelstoke home in arson attempt

The flames were extinguished before they spread

British Columbians worried as end of COVID-19 rental supplement looms

Single mom struggles as supplement was her saving grace

Fire at Marble Point near Sicamous now under control

Two days of work on the fire has reduced its size and controlled it

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

Most Read