PEI

Propane facility should be relocated: Coun. Tweel

As the investigation continues into a propane leak that shut down part of Charlottetown Sunday, Counc. Mitch Tweel said for years he has been saying the facility should be relocated away from the residential area.

Irving maintains the facility has a 'stellar' safety record

A propane leak shut down an area of Charlottetown. (CBC)

As the investigation continues into a propane leak that shut down part of Charlottetown Sunday, Coun. Mitch Tweel said for years he has been saying the facility should be relocated away from the residential area.  

Sunday's propane leak in Charlottetown saw police and fire crews scramble to evacuate people and prevent a potentially deadly explosion after 32,000 litres of propane spilled from the Irving storage facility on Allen Street.

Tweel said he has no problem with the business itself, which provides a valuable service for the community.  

"As a result of what has taken place yesterday and the potential of a major catastrophe in the heart of the city of Charlottetown, I believe it's time for this propane facility to be relocated," he said.  

Firefighters used water to disperse the thick, white clouds of propane gas.  

Fire Inspector Winston Bryan said the cause of the leak was a faulty hose connection between the truck and distribution centre.

Carolyn Van der Veen, spokesperson for Irving Oil, said the company has an excellent safety record.  

"The investigation will help determine the root cause and from there we'll review our safety procedures as necessary," she said,  "but do understand that we abide by extremely stringent safety procedures currently and as a result the facility has been operating safely for four decades with a stellar safety record."  

propane fire in Toronto four years ago caused extensive damage and destroyed homes and properties.  

William White, a resident in the area, is dubious of the facility's safety.

"Mistakes in industry happen all the time and this is just — I call it the bomb on Allen Street. It's due," he said.  

The company said it has no plans to move.  

"We're going to continue to be a good neighbour to those around us with safety at the forefront of our commitment to the community," said Van der Veen.  

No one was injured in Sunday's propane leak, firefighters had the leak under control after about 90 minutes.

The evacuation order was lifted shortly after that.  

Irving said it is awaiting results of its safety investigation to determine its next steps.