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 Island hockey arena

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

The Comox Valley Sports Centre was evacuated Thursday evening for just over an hour because of an ammonia leak from Arena 1.

Shortly after 8 p.m., the Courtenay Fire Department was dispatched to the center 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

Alberni Valley fire departments hold car wash to raise funds for Wounded Warriors Run

Come out Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to learn more about the run

67th year for Port Alberni’s men’s open bonspiel

Public is welcome to cheer on teams throughout the weekend

Alberni Valley residents vent anger over proposed Beaver Creek cannabis project

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District grapples with limited authority to restrict operations

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

B.C. NDP’s throne speech speaks of benefits to B.C., says MLA Scott Fraser

Fraser agrees to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs over pipeline

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read