An ammonia at the Fernie Memorial Arena has resulted in multiple deaths in Vancouver, British Columbia. The leak reportedly killed three workers who were repairing the refrigeration plant at the municipal ice rink. Shortly before noon on Thursday, police, fire, paramedics and WorkSafe BC were on the scene at the Fernie Memorial Arena.
Trish Knight Chernecki from WorkSafe BC wrote in an e-mail that the incident was a “tragic loss of life.”
WorkSpace BC originally reported the news that three workers were exposed to a gas leak. More workers will be on the scene by Wednesday to investigate the incident.
As a result of the leak, nearby homes and businesses were evacuated. All businesses and homes between between 9th and 13th streets and Highway 3 and 6th Avenue have been evacuated. These streets were closed because of the leak: 9th Street and 11th Street from the highway to 6th Avenue and 6th Avenue from 9th to 11th Streets.
The city announced on Tuesday morning that the arena was closed due to emergency repairs to the refrigeration plant. Ammonia is utilized as a refrigerant for ice arenas and other large refrigeration systems.
Barb Anderson, president of the Ghostriders said “The arena is city owned and operated. We are one of the user groups.”