Ucluelet’s downtown reopened after ammonia leak causes evacuation

Ucluelet’s downtown core has been reopened after businesses and residents evacuated this morning due to an ammonia leak.

Mayor Bill Irving said the district got a call around 11:30 a.m. that there was an ammonia leak at a Ucluelet Harbour Seafoods on Cedar Street by the harbour. The gas is used in processing. 

Using barriers and personnel, District officials closed off the area around Ucluelet’s district office, the Whiskey Dock and Ucluelet Aquarium. This included the CIBC and the liquor store on Main. 

Anyone with a business or residence located below Peninsula road was strongly urged to evacuate to higher ground.

"They picked a conservative safe zone because they wanted to be extra-cautious," said Irving. That area included 300-500 metres west of the plant because of wind direction. 

Police and the city worked to get people out of the area. 

The RCMP and Coast Guard Auxiliary were on the water advising kayakers and boaters not to come into the harbour.

Ucluelet’s environmental and emergency services manager Karla Robison said ammonia is combustible so there was a risk of an explosion.

"It disperses fairly quickly in this climate, with the wind, but regardless we don’t want to take any risks," said Irving. 

 

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reporter@westerlynews.ca

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