Threat of falling glass in Calgary's core closes roads and C-Train station

The danger of glass falling from a highrise is hampering Monday morning's commute, forcing authorities to close several roads in Calgary's core and C-Trains to skip a downtown station.

Officials cordoned off area around 200-block of Sixth Avenue, including Seventh Avenue transit corridor

Police cordoned off an area around Seventh Avenue and First Street S.W. on Sunday due to glass falling from an office tower. (Sarah Lawrynuik/CBC)

The danger of glass falling from a highrise is hampering Monday morning's commute, forcing authorities to close several roads in Calgary's core and C-Trains to skip a downtown station.

Emergency crews were called to the 200 block of Sixth Avenue S.W. around 9:45 a.m. Sunday after glass fell from Brookfield Place.

C-Trains are running through the downtown core but they are not stopping at the First Street station, the city says.

The area around the building was shut down to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, including:

  • First Street S.W. between Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue S.W.
  • Sixth Avenue S.W. between Centre Street and Second Street S.W.
  • Seventh Avenue S.W. between Centre Street and Second Street S.W.

A broken pane was found on the 23rd floor of the building, although there are no reported injuries, officials say.

Fire officials said Sunday that high winds prevented repair work.

Danger persists

D.B. Thunderchild was trying to get home on the C-Train on Sunday and said the shutdown was a "massive inconvenience," but an understandable one.

"Safety should be top priority, especially if it's the new high rise, if it's a piece of glass that fell off," he said. "Yeah, there's going to be mistakes and that's going to happen but it shouldn't be happening — every day there's always an inconvenience."

He referred to the 2009 death of Michelle Krsek, 3, as an example of what can go wrong when when debris comes loose on a high rise. 

"A few years ago there was a little girl that was killed when plywood — plywood or sheet metal — flew off the side of a building. It was from the top floors, I know because I was hauling dry wall in that same building and I saw the piece of plywood fly off," he said.

Prior wind storm

Sunday's incident comes almost two weeks after a wind storm ripped through Calgary, sending debris and glass flying from buildings.

The city investigated 17 incidents stemming from that storm, the most serious of which was a shattered window on the Home Oil Tower on Eighth Avenue S.W.

No charges were laid following those investigations.

Winds in Calgary were gusting at 50 kilometres an hour at at around 10 a.m. on Sunday, shortly after the recent incident took place.