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

UPDATE: Regional District of Central Kootenay declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders and alerts

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

Severe storm warning remains in effect for the Kootenays

Two special weather statements have been issued for the West Kootenay

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Powerful thunderstorms called for the West Kootenay this weekend

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Thursday afternoon.

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Update: Deceased suspect in West Kootenay gas station stabbing only in town two weeks

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read