Chatham-Kent looks to lift gas leak evacuation order in Wheatley
State of emergency could be rescinded as soon as Saturday, officials say
With no hydrogen sulfide gas detected since June 4, officials in Chatham-Kent are looking to rescind a state of emergency and evacuation order that has stretched into two weeks.
The municipality said in a media release on Friday that there is no justification to continue to the state of emergency and that the evacuation order will be terminated "hopefully as early as noon on Saturday."
Chatham-Kent officials have consulted with several provincial government ministries, which have concluded that no additional action from the municipality is recommended.
The state of emergency was put into effect on June 3 after a leak of hydrogen sulfide, a highly toxic, flammable gas, was identified.
According to the municipality, 27 people and a number of businesses were ordered to leave the downtown area. The gas leak was first detected in the basement of a restaurant on Erie Street North.
Officials believed the gas may have been emanating from an abandoned well but crews could not identify the source.
Firefighters have been on the scene around the clock and will remain in place until the evacuation order is lifted.