Prince Rupert’s arena is getting an ammonia ventilation upgrade. (File photo)

Inspection report reveals multiple failures in Prince Rupert ammonia leak

68kg ammonia tank was being stored improperly in a shipping container outside the arena

The inspection report from WorkSafeBC following the July 4 ammonia leak in Prince Rupert reveals multiple failures in how the hazardous material was stored at the recreation complex.

An occupational safety officer investigated the incident a day after the ammonia leak.

He discovered that the 68-kilogram gas cylinder of ammonia was being stored in a 20-foot green metal shipping container outside of the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre. The shipping container didn’t have any ventilation or lighting installed. The gas cylinder hadn’t been secured properly to prevent it from falling.

The report reveals that the inventory was not maintained to identify the 68-kilogram cylinder of ammonia was stored in the container.

City representatives and workers were interviewed following the July 4 ammonia leak that resulted in two people being sent to the hospital.

In the report it states “that no one from the City of Prince Rupert had immediately notified the board of the occurrence” and that “this employer did not conduct an assessment on the risks posed by an accidental release from a 68-kilogram cylinder of ammonia, contained in a 20 foot, green metal shipping container.”

Ammonia is a heavy gas and can travel 300-500 metres depending on how much is released into the environment — that includes the Lester Centre of the Arts, McDonald’s, the Doug Kerr Baseball Field and homes on 9th Avenue West. If the concentration of ammonia in the atmosphere exceeds a certain threshold, it can kill or cause physical harm.

READ MORE: Civic centre ammonia incident one of numerous cases occurring in B.C. since 2007

Failure to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation or the Workers Compensation Act could result in the city paying a penalty. In response, Veronika Stewart, the communications manager for the City of Prince Rupert, said the city has complied with all orders provided by Worksafe BC as of July 26, 2018.

“The city is also still continuing an investigation into why the ammonia was kept outside of our approved recreation ammonia storage facility, and will be taking appropriate measures. The city has hired a third-party investigator to conduct an incident investigation, which is ongoing.

“Since the incident, we have completed a full inventory of all hazardous chemicals on site, as per WorkSafe’s order, and will be maintaining it in perpetuity. We remain very concerned that this incident occurred, and continue to extend our sincere apologies to those impacted,” Stewart said.

Inspection Report for Prince Rupert's ammoniaLeak (Reviewed) by Shannon on Scribd

Ventilation upgrade

The City of Prince Rupert had issued a tender for an ammonia ventilation upgrade prior to the July 4 leak at the recreation centre.

A tender notice was issued June 19 for services to upgrade the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre Ammonia Plant’s ventilation system as per WorkSafeBC requirements following the leak in Fernie last October.

The city has awarded a contract for engineering work to develop the plans to update the ammonia venting system at the recreation complex, said the city’s communications manager.

“This project was initiated following updates to WorkSafeBC direction on ammonia venting protocols after the Fernie incident. After a December 2017 WorkSafe inspection, the city was directed to take further precaution to ensure that ammonia is fully exhausted from the building and cannot be blown back in. Although the city’s system had passed all previous inspections, this upgrade to the venting system is an added public safety provision,” Stewart said in an email.

KYSU Consulting will do the design planning for $4,250.

“Once the design plan is developed, the scope of work will be sent to tender. It should be noted that this is a planned upgrade to our venting system, and is unrelated to the July ammonia incident at the recreation complex,” Stewart said.

The incident is still under investigation by a third-party investigator hired by the city.

RELATED: Vagueness not an option when lives are on the line



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Police seek tipster in Jack family’s case

The Cheslatta family went missing 29 years ago

Verdun Mountain Fire now adjacent to Keefe’s Landing Road

B.C. Wildfire Service trying to keep the road open

Wildfires showing “aggressive behaviour”

Over the weekend the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) expanded the evacuation… Continue reading

Wildfires in the Burns Lake region continue to grow

Wildfires in the Burns Lake region continued to grow yesterday, with some… Continue reading

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

NASA provides a timelapse of smoke covering B.C. from space

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

UPDATED: Cars plunge in Italian highway bridge collapse; 25 killed

Five more people are injured and in serious condition

Court hearing on Humboldt Broncos fundraising to test Saskatchewan law

The money has yet to be distributed because Saskatchewan has legislation known as the Informal Public Appeals Act

Fredericton police release scene of shooting spree, but ‘damage’ remains

Residents of a Fredericton apartment complex may not be able to return home just yet

Bus crash in Ecuador kills 23 people, injures 14

The bus hit another vehicle in an area known as dead man’s curve on Tuesday

Trump and Omarosa spar over claim he used N-word

Manigault Newman continues promoting her White House tell-all and releasing secret audio recordings

Man plows truck into Houses of Parliament in London

UK police treat Parliament crash as terrorism, man arrested

Child dies in boating incident in Okanagan

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon when the incident occured

Most Read