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Arena in Prince Rupert, B.C., briefly closed by ammonia leak from outside tank


PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. – A leak in an external ammonia tank beside the municipal arena in Prince Rupert, B.C., forced the evacuation of the facility on Wednesday.

The city’s website says the arena reopened Thursday, while an investigation into the leak continues. The city says there was a high pressure release of ammonia from the tank outside the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

The centre was evacuated when the leak was discovered and two people were taken to hospital as a precaution but were released a short time later.

The tank was vented of all of the ammonia and the city says there was no environmental impact.

Although the centre’s ammonia detectors were triggered during the release, the city says monitoring by fire officials showed none of the gas entered the arena complex.

Both WorkSafe BC, the provincial body that investigates workplace accidents, and Prince Rupert Fire Rescue continue to seek a cause.

Two civic employees in Fernie, B.C., and a contract employee of a Calgary-based refrigeration company died last October when ammonia leaked at Fernie Memorial Arena in southeastern B.C.

An investigation of those deaths by the RCMP and WorkSafe is still underway.

Fernie council awarded an $882,000 contract to Calgary-based Startec Refrigeration Services Ltd. in March for a new refrigeration system to replace the arena’s damaged ammonia system.

Copyright (c) 2018 The Canadian Press