The Steinbach Fire Department was called to the Centennial Arena late Tuesday morning after construction crews severed a gas line.
Fire Chief Kel Toews says they responded shortly after 11 am. Toews notes crews arrived to find a sizeable gas leak. Manitoba Hydro was already on scene dealing with the cut in the 1.5-inch line.
"The positive thing is it was venting into the air, so it was dissipating," says Toews.
Toews notes they evacuated the arena as well as Steinbach Flooring across the street. He adds they stopped by other buildings in the area and asked them to shut down their air makeup units, so as not to take in gas. The Fire Department cordoned off the entire parking lot at Steinbach Credit Union as well as the stretch of Elmdale Street in front of the arena.
By 1:30 pm, Steinbach Fire Department cleared the scene.
"The leak has been capped, so, there is no more gas leaking into the atmosphere," clarifies Toews.
He notes Manitoba Hydro crews were still on scene and will be dropping by buildings in the area to make sure everything is okay. However, Toews says it is now safe for people to be in that area again. He says there were no injuries that he is aware of, but notes there is probably still a gas odour around the arena.
Toews says it appears what happened is that construction workers were in the process of abandoning the gas line running to the arena. He notes though a cut line like that could become catastrophic in a hurry, the good thing is that it was venting straight into the air.
"It wasn't collecting in a trench or there wasn't any chance of it migrating to a sewer system or anything like that," he explains. "It was a fair size line, but it was again venting straight into the atmosphere, so it dissipates pretty quickly then."
Toews adds the cut will have been noticed very quickly and could probably be heard from blocks away.
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