For the second day in a row, Glacier Gardens Arena had to be evacuated as a precaution. Photo by Mike Chouinard

For the second day in a row, Glacier Gardens Arena had to be evacuated as a precaution. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Comox arena evacuated for second day in a row

Smells prompted both checks, but no leak was found

For the second morning in a row, Glacier Gardens Arena in Comox was evacuated Thursday.

Again, the concern was a gas smell, though in neither case was any kind of leak found.

The facility has been used the last couple of months for the mass vaccination program against COVID-19 in the Comox Valley. Capt. Alex Hejduk, 19 Wing Comox public affairs officer, said she was not aware of any previous issues at the base’s arena.

On both Wednesday and Thursday, staff and volunteers had to have people coming for their shots leave the arena so the site could be inspected. First responders conducted a safety check, while Fortis BC was also called to the scene on Wednesday.

Again on Thursday, after a short delay for a safety check, the fire chief gave the all-clear for people to come back inside.

“Neither yesterday nor today was there any actual leak or issue,” Island Health spokesperson Dominic Abassi told the Record on Thursday. “There’s no issue or concern with the site.”

RELATED STORY: Comox arena is evacuated as a precaution

Rather than from any kind of alarm notification, the incidents were both prompted for reports of smells by staff. The likely culprit the first day might have been a smell associated with activation of the heating and cooling system for the facility, while the second day’s odour could have come from jets refuelling nearby, which then wafted toward the arena. In each case, staff wanted to make sure the site was safe.

“Safety’s top priority here,” Abassi said, who added that Island Health brought in more immunization staff to help clear up any delays for the scheduled appointments each day.

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