Identities released in Fernie ice rink tragedy

By Tom Mark / KISS FM Vernon
October 20, 2017 - 3:43pm

FERNIE, B.C. — The BC Coroners Service has released the names of the three men who died when ammonia leaked at the Memorial Arena in Fernie this week.

Two of them – Fifty-nine-year-old Wayne Hornquist and 52-year-old Lloyd Smith worked for the city.

Smith was employed as the city’s director of leisure services.

The 3rd man, 46-year-old Jason Podloski was from Turner Valley, Alberta.

He was a contractor with the Calgary office of refrigeration company CIMCO.

Officials have said the men were in the rink after an alarm went off early in the morning indicating a problem and the rink was closed so that repairs could be made.

What happened after that isn’t clear.

The Coroners Service continues to investigate the circumstances of these deaths to establish the facts and to identify possible recommendations to prevent future, similar incidents.

Other investigating agencies include WorkSafeBC, Technical Safety BC, the RCMP and the employer.

The City of Fernie is reminding residents that, to ensure their safety, the evacuation order around the Fernie Memorial Arena remains in effect and Emergency Social Services have arranged accommodations for evacuees for as long as is necessary.

The Emergency Response team continues working together to ensure safe conditions prior to allowing officials entry into the building to fully assess the situation and move the investigation forward.

Specialists from the Provincial Disaster Psychosocial Program were called in to offer services to affected families, and workers & volunteers responding to the emergency, as well as all residents.

City Hall and Public Works offices are all closed today for a mourning period

At last word, the evacuation order for homes in the vicinity was still in effect.

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