Emergency Crews Remain on Scene of Gas Leak in Wheatley

am800-news-wheatley-gas-leak

A state of emergency is still in effect after a gas leak was found in Wheatley on June 2.

Emergency responders remain at Erie St. N and provincial officers are expected to be on scene Monday to continue the investigation into the source of the gas, which is being called "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.”

According to a release from the municipality of Chatham-Kent, the top priority continues to be protecting the safety of people and property and 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."