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Evacuation order lifted in Fernie, days after deadly arena gas leak

by Lauren Krugel | Oct 22, 2017
Investigation into the deadly ammonia leak conducted by WorkSafe BC

95 people will be allowed to return home after ammonia leak on Tuesday

Three people who died after a suspected ammonia leak were doing maintenance work on ice-making equipment at the Fernie Memorial Arena on Oct. 17, 2017.


"We want to assure [the public] there are no risks or health hazards," the fire chief said.

Three men died Tuesday after an ammonia leak at the rink. They were later identified as Wayne Hornquist, Lloyd Smith and Jason Podloski.

Hornquist and Smith worked for the City of Fernie, while Podloski was a Calgary-based employee of CIMCO Refrigeration.

The tiny Rocky Mountain community declared a seven-day local state of emergency after the incident. City operations were paused Friday to give employees time to grieve, and counsellors have been made available for residents.

Ruiter said the arena and community centre will remain closed to the public as WorkSafe BC leads an investigation into the deaths. If the agency determines there was a criminal aspect to the incident, the investigation will be turned over to the RCMP.

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