VIDEO: Investigators hone in on timeline of deadly ammonia leak in Fernie

Police, fire and city officials provide an update on the investigation into Tuesday’s ammonia leak

Investigators have released more details about the timeline of the tragedy in Fernie this week, when three people were killed in an ammonia leak at the ice rink.

An alarm went off at Fernie Memorial Arena at approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, the city’s chief administrative officer Norm McInnis told reporters Thursday. That prompted officials to close it for repairs to the refrigeration system.

But between then and 12:56 p.m., when first responders received reports of a medical incident at the rink, McInnis said “something went terribly wrong.” He did not say anything further.

READ MORE: Fernie mourns after fatal ammonia leak

Crews have recovered the other two victims from the arena, RCMP Sgt. Trevor Tribes said, now that the leak in the west part of the building has been contained. The east section is still blocked off.

The first victim was found by firefighters who arrived on Tuesday. That person was taken to hospital. The other two were found in the building shortly after.

No details have been provided as to what condition the three were found in. They were two city workers and one contractor from out of town. Their names have not been released.

The evacuation order of the area around the rink remains in effect, with the priority being to get residents back into their homes safely.

“In the meantime,” said Fire Chief Ted Ruiter, “we have arranged to extend the accommodation for another day and continue to keep residents informed.”

Any residents who have questions about the evacuation order, or social services, can call 1-855-346-2188.

Elk Valley RCMP are asking the public to come forward with any information on what happened that morning.

Because two of three victims were city workers, the City of Fernie has announced they will be temporarily shutting down operations on Friday, to give employees a chance to grieve.


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