Ammonia leak prompts evacuation of Rocky Ridge YMCA

Emergency crews respond to a YMCA at 11300 Rocky Ridge Road N.W. for reports of an ammonia leak on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. Global News / Jill Croteau

About 200 people were forced to leave a northwest recreation centre on Wednesday due to an ammonia leak, the Calgary Fire Department said.

Fire crews were called to the Rocky Ridge YMCA on Rocky Ridge Road just before 9:30 a.m.

According to the CFD, an ammonia leak in the refrigeration room triggered the building’s alarm system.

READ MORE: Ammonia leak reported in southeast Calgary: CFD

“It was serious,” evacuee Katya Strelina told Global News. “It was flashing, it was saying: ‘attention, attention.’ like the war would start.”

Calgary Transit buses were brought in for people to take shelter inside and keep warm.

“Some kids and adults were [in the] pool so they just had their bathing suits and wet towels, and it’s freezing,” Strelina explained. “They were offered blankets or something just to warm up.”
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READ MORE: 51 workers evacuated after ammonia leak at Calgary Coca-Cola plant

A CFD news release said the source of the ammonia leak, a compressor, was shut down and the refrigeration room was ventilated.

“The building’s monitoring devices and alarms worked exactly as intended for these types of emergency situations,” the release stated.

No injuries were reported.

Evacuees were allowed back in about an hour after the incident began.

The YMCA said in an emailed statement that the facility is safe, but the rink would be closed until further notice as an investigation is underway to find the cause of the leak.

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– With files from Jill Croteau