Residents forced from homes due to ammonia leak in Fernie, B.C. allowed to return

A memorial sign and flowers sits outside Fernie Memorial Arena in Fernie, B.C. on Wednesday, Oct.18, 2017. Residents who were forced from their homes because of a deadly ammonia leak at an ice rink in Fernie, B.C., are being allowed back home.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lauren Krugel

FERNIE, B.C. - Residents who were forced from their homes because of a deadly ammonia leak at an ice rink in Fernie, B.C., are being allowed back home.

The City of Fernie says it has determined that there is no longer any danger from the leak that killed three people at the Fernie Memorial Arena last week.

A total of 95 people had to leave their homes as a precaution and have been staying in a hotel since Wednesday.

The City said in a recorded message today that the arena remains closed to the public as the investigation into what caused the leak continues.

City officials planned to update the public on the progress of the investigation later today.

Two men from Fernie and one from Alberta died last Tuesday and authorities are trying to piece together a timeline leading up to the deaths.

Wayne Hornquist, 59, and Lloyd Smith, 52, worked for the City of Fernie while 46-year-old Jason Podloski worked for refrigeration company CIMCO.

Counsellors have been made available to help people deal with grief and stress.

Ammonia is used in mechanical refrigeration systems, including those in ice rinks. The colourless gas is toxic if inhaled.


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