Montreal

Wind blows part of roof off Maurice Richard Arena

High winds have blown off a part of the roof of Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal's Olympic Park.
Strong winds tore off part of the roof of Maurice Richard Areana in Montreal on Thursday night. (Elias Abboud/CBC)

High winds blew off a part of Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal's Olympic Park on Thursday evening.

According to reports, an ice-skating course was taking place inside but no one was injured when a part of the roof blew off from the structure at around 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Viau metro station was reopened on Friday evening but the Pierre-de-Coubertin will remain closed to traffic between Theodore and Viau streets until Tuesday morning.

Viau is currently closed between Hochelaga and Sherbrooke streets. It is expected to reopen by 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The statue outside the arena of Maurice (Rocket) Richard, the iconic Montreal Canadiens forward, was not damaged.

A city official said work began two days ago on the roof as part of a larger project to redo the arena's roof and walls.

Workers inspect damage to the roof of Maurice Richard Arena. (Elias Abboud/CBC)

The building is located on the corner of Viau Street and Pierre-de-Coubertin Avenue. Police blocked off a part of Pierre-de-Coubertin on Thursday to proceed with debris removal and prevent other parts of the roof from blowing into the street. The nearby entrance to the Viau metro station was also closed.

Engineers were on the scene Thursday night, waiting to be able to solidify or remove loose parts of the roof, but high winds made work difficult for them.

Fire officials said the metal sheet covering the roof was partly blown off onto the street. The structure under it seems intact but engineers will have to assess the situation.

Maurice Richard Arena was the venue for boxing and wrestling when Montreal hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics. The arena is now used for training by elite athletes and for hockey, figure-skating and speed-skating events.

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