Emergency Services officials and an RCMP officer confer inside the Collicutt Centre during its evacuation Monday.

Ammonia leak prompts evacuation at Collicutt Centre

An ammonia leak at the Collicutt Centre in Red Deer forced the evacuation of hundreds of people just before noon on Monday.



The Collicutt Centre is expected to open today following an evacuation that caused hundreds to flee from the recreation facility on Monday.

Red Deer Emergency Services platoon chief Randy Kidd said a maintenance crew was making a repair on the ammonia tanks in the ice plant when the crew ran into trouble and triggered an ammonia leak just before noon. Kidd said the crew was repairing a faulty part and there was no leak previously.

The facility evacuation process was enacted to ensure public safety. There were no reported injuries.

“(The leak) has been repaired,” said Kidd. “It was fairly simple to do. Now it’s just a matter getting the residual product vented. Being such a big building, it takes a long time to replace all the air in the building.”

Red Deer Transit was put on alert but their resources were not required. Most people left the area and others went to Hunting Hills High School. The Collicutt Centre was completely evacuated by 12:30 p.m.

Emergency Services crews including the hazardous materials teams spent several hours venting the residual product from the building.

Kidd said there was still a faint smell of ammonia in the building so rather than having people coming in and panicking, they felt it was more prudent to keep the facility closed overnight as a precautionary measure.

Red Deer Emergency Services crews will continue to monitor the air quality both inside and outside the facility as needed to ensure public safety.

“There’s no real problem with ammonia other than it being an irritant,” said Kidd. “Unless you are getting real high dosages and it is replacing your oxygen and you can’t breathe. The amounts in the building were just irritating. ”

Nearby Notre Dame and Hunting Hills High Schools were placed on alert but there was no evacuation.

The centre was scheduled to re-open at 5:30 a.m. today.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Improving life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families is a priority for Raitt

The federal Conservatives deputy leader is dealing with the disease in her own home

PHOTO: International Peace Day

Visitors broke bread, made crafts and trading cards at a gathering marking… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Central Alberta

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Central Alberta Friday afternoon. Warning… Continue reading

POLL: Most Red Deerians don’t want cell phones in the classroom

Sixty-six per cent of Advocate readers who responded to an on-line poll… Continue reading

Grassroots movement to clean up Red Deer is gaining momentum

Homeless people need more attention than shopping carts, says former councillor Cindy Jefferies

Updated: Grey Cup in Red Deer to raise funds for military families

Money raised will go to the Military Family Resource Centre and be used locally

Dustin Byfuglien scores in overtime, Jets beat Flames 4-3 in pre-season

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little tied the game late in the third and… Continue reading

Mistrial denied in Calgary murder trial over jury’s visit to hotel Denny’s

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has denied a request for a mistrial… Continue reading

Former Canadian astronaut says space shuttle is a vehicle of hope

OTTAWA — Sending messages of hope from space is a big part… Continue reading

Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

OTTAWA — Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S.… Continue reading

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

SURREY, B.C. — Three First Nations in British Columbia gathered today to… Continue reading

Tail with a happy ending: Dog rescued from fighting ring, ready for police work

Dallas’s ear-to-ear grin and bright brown eyes seem to sparkle with joy.… Continue reading

Liberal leader doubles down on notion that $75 weekly grocery bill is possible

MONTREAL — One day after being ridiculed for saying it was possible… Continue reading

Jury resumes deliberating man’s guilt in Calgary mother of four’s death

CALGARY — Jurors are continuing to deliberate the guilt of a man… Continue reading

Most Read