The yellow box on the right shows the location of weld failures in the direct expansion chiller at the Alberni Valley Multiplex that led to an ammonia leak. (TECHNICAL SAFETY BC PHOTO)

Technical Safety BC releases Port Alberni ammonia leak report

Arena patron reported leak to TSBC two days after first detected, says report

Faulty welds that weren’t properly tested after manufacturing are to blame for the ammonia leak in Port Alberni’s multiplex ice refrigeration plant, a Technical Safety BC report shows.

The 60-page incident investigation report was released Thursday, Dec. 19 and made public on Friday, Dec. 20.

The ammonia leak was discovered at 6 a.m. on Nov. 3, when it activated an alarm in the ammonia detection system. The source of the leak was discovered on Nov. 5 and was determined to be coming from a crack in the welding inside the chiller portion of the refrigeration plant.

The plant was brand new, having only been installed in June 2019.

The City of Port Alberni waited for two days after the ammonia leak was detected before an arena patron finally reported it to Technical Safety BC. The city then shut down the Alberni Valley Multiplex.

“Technical Safety BC reminds equipment owners and operators that even ‘small’ leaks can quickly become very dangerous if the cause is not understood and effectively managed,” the report noted. “All ammonia leaks must be reported to Technical Safety BC within 24 hours of occurrence, as per the Safety Standards Act.”

The Multiplex was closed for nearly three weeks as the city, TSBC, contractors and the American manufacturer all tried to figure out what the problem was.

The Alberni Valley News has reached out to the city for comment.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VALLEY SENIORS: Sunshine Servers serve up a good time in Port Alberni

The group, formed in 2004, has volunteered hundreds of hours in the community

Young Alberni filmmakers win ‘Best Picture’ in youth film fest

‘Hope’ is high school students Richard Spencer and Miranda Chen’s first foray into film

Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department promotes deputy to chief

Mike Kobus replaces Charlie Starratt in Alberni Valley-based fire hall

City approves $10M to finish Port Alberni’s wastewater treatment plant

Money won’t come from taxation, but will affect sewer user fees, says city CAO

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Most Read