Demolition in Wheatley

Municipal officials confirmed today that demolition of buildings adjacent to the site of the explosion in downtown Wheatley is expected to be completed by the end of this week.

Chatham-Kent General Manager of Infrastructure and Engineering Services Thomas Kelly said the process is proceeding on schedule.

As soon as demolition is completed, excavation will begin.

"The excavation will go hand in hand with the pathway analysis," Kelly said. "The analysis is a key factor in determining how the gas is reaching the surface and gives us important information we can use for remediation."

Kelly said work crews will proceed as quickly as possible but said safety remains paramount. "The excavation phase of the plan carries with it an elevated risk," he said. "We're very mindful of that."

The practice of allowing residents into the evacuation zone to return to their homes for a brief period to retrieve some of their personal property has been on hold while the current work plan takes place.

"We will resume allowing residents to return as soon it is safe to do so, but the current work Is critical to long-term resolution of the problem. If there are any gaps in the work plan, temporary access will be restarted," he said.

Media Contact:

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