Hazmat team handles ammonia leak without incident

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on July 10, 2014

Charlottetown firefighters blocked off Campbell Road while responding to a call of a chemical spill Thursday morning. Armour Trucking employees were evacuated.

©Guardian photo by Heather Taweel

WINSLOE — Roads were closed and businesses were evacuated following a chemical leak Thursday at Armour Transportation.

Charlottetown Deputy Fire Chief Tim Mamye says members of Station 2 in Sherwood and the provincial Hazmat team were on scene for almost five hours.

The call came in at 9:35 a.m. about an ammonia leak in a 35.4 kilogram cylinder.

"Once we arrived on scene we immediately evacuated and isolated the area —Hazmat 100 metres in all directions,'' Mamye said, referring to standard procedure as set out in the emergency response guidebook for a small ammonia leak.

"Once we have that isolated and evacuated it was more of support and we continued to evaluate the incident until we have the Hazmat team set up and appropriately dressed for entry.''

Firefighters handled things at the scene until members of the Hazmat team got fully encapsulated into their protective suits, with self-contained breathing apparatus, and made entry.

Hazmat team members not only have to wait for enough members to arrive to enter an area, there must also be a backup team and decontamination team on scene as well. Team members come from all over the province.

Mamye said no firefighters came in contact with ammonia and no one was injured.

Traffic was diverted from the area, causing traffic congestion on the Malpeque Road while the cleanup was carried out.