Wheatley update August 28

Media Release

August 28, 2021

Officials continue on-scene monitoring of Wheatley blast

Municipal staff and the staff from Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office are currently on site in Wheatley consulting with technical experts to analyzing current risks and consider adjustments to the evacuation area and detour routes. 

"Our primary consideration has been and continues to be public safety," said Chatham-Kent Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire. "We recognize that this situation is difficult for residents and businesses in Wheatley and we will make whatever accommodation we can make but only if we can do so in a safe manner. At this point the situation remains unstable."

Shropshire said municipal officials met with representatives of the Ministry of the Solicitor General and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry this morning to convey the urgency of finding the source of the hydrogen sulphide leak believed to be the cause of an explosion In Wheatley's downtown core Thursday.

"I am certain provincial officials are fully aware of the issue and the consequences of inaction." Shropshire said. "The province is committed to bringing in technical experts to assess how they can enter the evacuated zone with the aim of finding the source of the leak, stopping it and beginning the cleanup."

Thursday marked the third time in the last three months that residents have had to evacuate due to the presence of the gas. An evacuation was underway Thursday when the explosion occurred.

Twenty people received medical aid and one Chatham-Kent employee remains in hospital as the result of a blast that leveled a building at 15 Erie Street North and severely damaged numerous others in the Erie/Talbot Street intersection.



For further information contact:
Don Shropshire
Chief Administrative Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624

 Media Contact:
Jim Blake
Communications Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624


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