CK Mayor declares state of emergency in Wheatley due to gas leak

Some homes and businesses in Wheatley, Ont., have once again been evacuated due to a hydrogen sulphide gas leak.

52 people displaced in latest gas leak at same site as one in early June

Crews at the scene of a gas leak in Wheatley in southwestern Ontario in June. On Monday, it was determine there was another leak. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

The Mayor of Chatham-Kent has declared a state of emergency for the community of Wheatley due to a gas leak that has forced dozens of people out of their homes and businesses.

It is the second emergency at the same location, for the same reason, since early June.

On Tuesday, Mayor Darrin Canniff released a statement explaining the latest emergency declaration.

He said Chatham-Kent Fire Services detected hydrogen sulfide gas Monday at a commercial property and "pursuant to the powers given to me by the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, I determine that this impending situation constitutes a danger that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property."

Twenty-three homes and 13 businesses were evacuated. In total, 52 people are displaced but the municipality is working to assist anyone who needs emergency accommodation.

The municipality of Chatham-Kent said the source of the gas leak is unknown but was detected after a sulphide detector activated at 15 Erie St. N., where a leak that caused a state of emergency was reported last month.

A provincial hazmat team that came in from Windsor confirmed the presence of the gas.

Erie Street is closed between Elm Street and Talbot Street, and Talbot is closed from Erie Street to Little Street.

Crews from Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services, as well as EMS and utility companies, are on the scene.

Hydrogen sulphide is a highly toxic, flammable gas. It was first identified at the Erie Street location, which houses a restaurant, early last month.

A state of emergency was in effect from June 3 to June 26 due to the leak, though crews could not identify the source.

Officials believed, however, that the gas may have come from an abandoned well somewhere.

Prior to Monday, gas hadn't been detected at the site since June 4. The site was cleared for most to return about two weeks later, following consultation with the provincial government.


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