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Three dead after ammonia leak at Fernie arena


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As a guy who's spent over 50 years around ice rinks, this one hits close to home. This is a sad day all around:





An apparent ammonia leak at an arena in Fernie has killed three workers who were repairing the refrigeration plant at the municipal ice rink.

Police, fire, paramedics and WorkSafe BC investigators were on scene at the Fernie Memorial Arena after the leak was reported shortly before noon on Tuesday.

In an email, Trish Knight Chernecki from WorkSafe BC called the incident “a tragic loss of life.”

WorkSafe BC’s preliminary information suggested three workers were exposed to a gas leak. The agency was contacted by the Fernie Fire Department at 12:30 p.m. and there are now three WorkSafe BC officers on site. 

More officers will be at the scene on Wednesday, once Fernie RCMP have completed their investigation.



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1 hour ago, Violator said:

That was probably the whole crew.ammonia is up there with h2s as some dangerous stuff.

it is, they replaced the CFC systems in a lot of places with ammonia, so better for the atmosphere but riskier for people. 

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I wonder who WCB is going to fine up the wazoo over this. They have a history of nailing companies who have serious injuries or deaths occurring on jobsites. This might be a little different as it's an arena in small town which likely means it's City of Fernie problem and not a business per se.

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6 minutes ago, Alflives said:

I've had those ammonia burns to bronchioles and they are nasty, nasty and nasty. I have had to limit exposure to anything with ammonia in it or anything that could inadvertently mix and create ammonia gas and this will be for the rest of my life. I was extremely lucky that it wasn't a whole lot worse. That's what you get for not rinsing a cleaning cloth before using another cleaner.


My sister and her husband used to be ice makers at their local arena. One morning my sister was there on her own and bent over to open a valve not realizing there was a small leak.... she also was very, very lucky....nasty stuff, that ammonia :(


RIP those who lost their lives at the Fernie arena yesterday.... hopefully some answers will be forthcoming. Sometimes accidents are just that, accidents, unfortunately.

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