One person has died after an ammonia leak Thursday at an ice-making facility in an industrial area of Kamloops, BC
The leak started inside the Arctic Glacier Ice building at 790 Sarcee St. East in Mount Paul Industrial Park around 10:30 am PT. Paramedics responded and took three people to hospital – one who was in critical condition and two who were stable.
The person who was in critical condition has since died, according to RCMP.
“Sadly, we can confirm that one person is deceased,” RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn said, adding Mounties will be investigating the cause of the leak.
About six more patients in stable condition were assessed at the scene, BC Emergency Health Services said.
A hazmat team with Kamloops Fire Rescue responded to the leak, as did WorkSafeBC. The industrial park is north of downtown Kamloops, on the other side of the South Thompson River.
Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Cail said crews did not realize they were dealing with ammonia until they arrived to find a strong smell in the air.
“Crews learned once they got on scene that it was actually a cloud of ammonia that had escaped a bottle from the facility within the building,” Cail told CBC News.
Ammonia is a colorless but pungent gas used in refrigeration systems, power generation and manufacturing.
Inhaling low concentrations of ammonia can irritate the eyes and respiratory systems, but large amounts can be deadly. Three people were killed by a leak while trying to fix ice-making equipment at a hockey rink in Fernie, BC, in 2017.
An RCMP officer on scene confirmed Thursday’s leak originated from the Arctic Glacier Ice facility. WorkSafeB.C. and the BC Coroner’s Service are investigating the incident.
One person in critical condition transported to #Kamloops hospital following ammonia leak at Mt. Paul Industrial Park called in around 10:30 am.
BCEHS confirms 5 paramedic ground crews and 2 supervisors responded to 700 block of Sarcee Street.
Evelyn said most roads around the scene have reopened, except for the immediate area on Sarcee Street.
In a tweet, the City of Kamloops said the scene was considered stable, and people who were evacuated could “go about their business in the area.”