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Southwest Edmonton arena reopened after ammonia gas leak prompted evacuation

WATCH ABOVE: The Terwillegar Rec Centre was evacuated Thursday evening because of an ammonia gas leak.

The Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre reopened Friday morning after being evacuated on Thursday night because of an ammonia gas leak. A spokesperson for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services confirmed the leak to Global News Thursday night.

Shortly after 8 p.m., the spokesperson described the leak at the arena on Leger Road as being a minor one and said it was originally thought to be in one of the arenas. She said crews were called to respond to the rec centre at 7:14 p.m.

After crews responded, district chief Martin Prins said the leak was actually discovered in a storage room on the side of the building that houses the arenas. People in the rinks smelled the ammonia and alerted staff who evacuated the building.

Watch below: (From August 2018) B.C.’s occupational health and safety regulator has completed its investigation into an ammonia leak that killed three men at a Fernie arena in Oct 2017. Blake Lough reports.

WorkSafeBC lists several violations following investigation into deadly Fernie arena ammonia leak
WorkSafeBC lists several violations following investigation into deadly Fernie arena ammonia leak
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“Fortunately, here, the only high readings we got were in the storage area where there are no people at all. In the rink area, all we had were very low readings where you could smell it, but that’s all,” Prins said.

A City of Edmonton tech was able to respond to the scene right away and quickly repaired the leak, Prins said.

The Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre was evacuated on Thursday night because of an ammonia gas leak, according to a spokesperson for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
The Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre was evacuated on Thursday night because of an ammonia gas leak, according to a spokesperson for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. Sarah Kraus/ Global News

Edmonton Transit Service buses were brought in to keep swimmers warm after they were forced to leave the facility on short notice. They were allowed to stay on the pool deck until the buses arrived.

Eventually, people who had been using the swimming pool before the building was evacuated were allowed back in to change.

READ MORE: City of Fernie hopes to set example for small communities after report into fatal ammonia leak

No injuries were reported. Prins estimated around 1,000 people were forced to leave the building.

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The building was closed for the evening.

A fire official told Global News no medical issues had been reported and that a HAZMAT crew was able to contain the leak.

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