CHATHAM-KENT (June 7, 2021) – Emergency responders remain at Erie St. N and the state of emergency continues after gas leak found in Wheatley on Wednesday afternoon. Provincial Officers will be on scene today to continue the investigation into the source of the gas, which is a technical and complex challenge.
The Provincial Hazmat Team confirmed on Friday that the levels of gas had dropped, which is welcome news for the safety of the community, but it is still unknown how or where the gas coming from and therefore protections remain in place on the advice of the Provincial Hazmat Team.
”We completely understand the concerns and frustrations of the families and business owners affected by the evacuation in what is already a challenging time and I want to thank them for their patience and understanding,” says Fire Chief Chris Case. “I would also like to thank the firefighters who have been working in shifts 24/7 for over 170 hours to maintain the safety of the community. The support for our teams from the community has been overwhelming.”
Top priority continues to be protecting the safety of people and property. The area cannot reopen until it is safe to do so. Fire and police services are monitoring gas levels and are prepared to respond if required. Municipal staff continue to work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and industry experts, to try to identify the cause of the gas leak and to determine what is required to safely reopen the area.
“Hydrogen Sulphide is highly toxic and explosive in certain concentrations,” explains Case, “We cannot stress highly enough the risk that exists with this gas potentially being released in an uncontrolled manner into the atmosphere, our actions to date have been to protect our local community”
For additional information please contact:
Chatham-Kent Fire & Emergency Services