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London Majors’ home opener postponed after Labatt Park evacuated following report of gas leak

FILE PHOTO. Andrew Graham / Global News

A report of a gas leak forced the evacuation of Labatt Park midway through the London Majors’ home opener Friday night against the Kitchener Panthers.

Emergency crews including London fire, paramedics and police were called to the ballpark shortly after 9:20 p.m.

“We were initially called for a possible gas leak or something that smelt like propane. There was a couple of patients that supposedly fainted and passed out. On arrival we had a couple of patients that we assessed,” said Bill Sadler, acting operations superintendent with Middlesex-London Paramedic Services.

One person was taken to Victoria Hospital as a precaution, he said. “Other than that… everything was good with them, and the other patients that were assessed were not transported.”

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London Fire Platoon Chief Kirk Loveland said the initial call came in as a Level 3 hazmat, indicating hazardous materials.

“Upon arrival, the crews investigated and they could find no evidence of any kind of hazardous materials in the area. A couple of people were assessed and it came down to more heat exhaustion,” Loveland said.

“Our alarm came in under the same circumstances (as EMS), that it was possible hazardous material gas or propane or some noxious odour. But there was nothing found on scene.”

Fire crews gave the all clear around 9:49 p.m., roughly 25 minutes after the initial call, he said.

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The IBL championship Majors were at the top of the fifth inning against the Panthers when fans were told to calmly leave Labatt Park. No reason was given for the evacuation. At the time of the evacuation, Kitchener was leading 5-4.

“Your attention please, we’re going to stop the game. I want to ask everybody to please calmly start making your way to the exits. There is no cause for panic,” an announcer could be heard saying over the park’s public address system in an online stream of the game.

“Majors fans, there has been an announcement inside the ballpark here that we’re going to have to end the broadcast here and leave the ballpark, and we’ll try to pick things up later,” broadcast commentator Noah Smith can be heard saying before the stream abruptly ends.

Asked if it was a relief that the call turned out to be nothing serious, Loveland replied, “Absolutely.”

“You err on the side of caution. You want to be thorough,” he said.

“You want to make sure that there’s nothing there, especially when you know there’s people involved. You want to have them assessed and make sure that you rule out anything that could have caused an issue with people.”

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He adds he’s not sure why the initial call was of an odour of propane.

“I’m not sure what why they reported that because upon arrival, there was no sign of anything being used,” he said.

“There was no evidence that there was any propane or gas being used in the ballpark. They couldn’t find anything,” Loveland said, referring to fire crews.

In a tweet, the London Majors reported that the game had been postponed in the top of the fifth inning, and that further details would be provided when they became available.

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