Space debris puts Alberta officials on high alert

Rural Alberta dodged impact with Russian space debris, according to the province's emergency officials.

Rural Alberta dodged impact with Russian space debris, according to the province's emergency officials.

The North American Aerospace Defence Command was tracking the debris, estimated to be about the size of a school bus, after 10 a.m. local time on Friday.

At first the debris was set to fall in Calgary, but officials later determined it would strike near Kneehill or Wheatland County, about 100 kilometers east of Calgary.

Norad alerted officials in Ottawa, who in turn got in touch with emergency officials in Alberta.

Colin Lloyd, executive director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said they set up an emergency command centre and alerted the premier.

Lloyd said a public warning notice was about to be sent out at 10:46 a.m.

"As one of our staff was about to press the button to launch the message that would go out to members of the public alerting them of the event, we received notification from the government operations centre in Ottawa that in fact the debris had …  sheared off [in] the atmosphere and was now actually in the Atlantic Ocean."

Lloyd said it was a morning at work that he won't forget.