Between 4:30 and 5:00 pm on July 4th, Prince Rupert Fire Rescue responded to a reported ammonia leak at the municipal arena. The Recreation Complex was fully evacuated and closed until a full inspection was completed by Prince Rupert Fire Rescue. The majority of users had left for the day as summer camps had concluded, and remaining patrons and staff were immediately evacuated when alarms sounded. The City was advised that two people were taken to hospital and were released.
This incident remains under investigation by both Prince Rupert Fire Rescue and Worksafe BC. The event involved a high pressure release of ammonia from a lone tank external to the Recreation facility, which has now released 100% of the ammonia into the atmosphere with no environmental impact.
Prince Rupert Fire Rescue conducted several walk throughs of Recreation facilities with an ammonia detector over the course of the response, and did not detect any ammonia in the building. Crews stayed on site to ensure there was no additional risk to the public. Proper storage procedures were checked for all remaining ammonia on site, which is stored as per applicable regulations in an isolated area of the facility and used for the arena. Our facility is inspected regularly in accordance with Worksafe BC regulations. During the event, the ammonia alarm system was triggered and alerted remaining patrons and staff to exit the building. This alarm system remains in effect. Based on these conditions, it was determined that recreation programming will continue today. Any questions from citizens should be directed to the City to ensure that accurate information is communicated.
We are incredibly sorry to the two people who were hospitalized during the incident, and their families, and will take all necessary precautions to ensure something like this does not happen again.