Sudbury

Attawapiskat hospital fuel spill clean up could top $2 M

The cost of cleaning up a fuel spill at the Attawapiskat hospital could top $2 million because of contamination that crews said are worse than expected.

Workers removing contaminated soil since oil leaked into the crawlspace of hospital in November

Heating oil spilled in the crawlspace of the hospital last November, putting it out of commission. (Google)

The cost of cleaning up a fuel spill could at the Attawapiskat hospital could top $2 million because of contamination that crews said are worse than expected. 

Workers have been cleaning up and removing contaminated soil since heating oil leaked into the crawlspace of the building back in November. The hospital in the James Bay community has remained closed since.

When the spill happened in early December, Weeneebayko Health Authority CEO Robert Adolph said it was believed a pump failure caused 1,200 litres of fuel to leaked into the building. 

Timmins-James Bay NDP MPP Gilles Bisson said there's no estimate yet for when the clean-up will finish and when the hospital will re-open.

The provincial government, he added, continues to assist with remediation. It has so far provided about $1 million.

"The good news is, in discussion with the minister of health this week, he has reaffirmed his commitment to make sure that the province does what it has to do to make sure that this spill is cleaned," Bisson said.

In February, Bisson asked for additional funds to clean up the contaminated soil around the hospital.

In the meantime, nurses continue to provide emergency medical services at a temporary clinic in Attawapiskat's health centre.

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