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Calgary’s Seton YMCA re-opens after ammonia leak Wednesday

WATCH ABOVE: Doug Vaessen speaks with Calgary Fire Department District Chief Hank Ormstrup about an ammonia leak reported at the Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton on Wednesday morning.

The newly built YMCA in the community of Seton was closed for just over an hour on Wednesday due to an ammonia leak.

Emergency crews were called to the southeast facility just after 4 a.m.

Calgary Fire Department District Chief Hank Ormstrup said the ammonia levels detected were quite low.

“When we arrived the ammonia alarm was going off. That gets triggered [at] about 25 ppm,” Ormstrup said. “When we got here, I think the peak readings were about 37 ppm … Immediate danger to life and health is 300 ppm.”

WATCH: It’s the biggest YMCA in the world and it’s located right here in Calgary. Global News got a sneak peek inside the Brookfield Residential YMCA in Seton earlier this year before it opened. 

World’s largest YMCA opening in south Calgary
World’s largest YMCA opening in south Calgary

YMCA regional director Nick Wiggins told Global News the alarm went off inside the refrigeration room where the ice plant is located, and was possibly from an exhaust fan.

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“The building at the time was closed. There were some contractors in the building but none of the public,” he said. “Those contractors were safely evacuated.”

The facility was supposed to open at 5:30 a.m. but remained closed until the situation could be resolved. Crews inspected and it was opened to the public just before 7 a.m.

“We’re still trying to determine exactly what the causes were,” Wiggins said.

The YMCA said Wednesday afternoon they have decided to close two ice surfaces for the next 24 hours to perform “the necessary maintenance.”

“This evening’s shutdown is a proactive measure taken to ensure the ice plant can run effectively and at full capacity to the benefit of the participants who use it,” a YMCA news release said. “The temporary closure affects both ice surfaces for at least the next 24 hours as the necessary work is completed by our teams.”

The Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton opened to the public on Jan. 14 and includes a water park, two ice rinks, three gymnasiums, a fitness centre, a library and daycare, and a 200-metre running track.

– With files from Doug Vaessen