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January 15, 2014

Treatment plant evacuated

The Calgary Fire Department responded to reports of a large carbon dioxide release at the Bears Paw Water Treatment Plant on the morning of Jan. 8.

All 12 plant employees had evacuated by the time crews arrived.

It was discovered that while undertaking routine maintenance on the fire suppression system, a large volume of carbon dioxide (CO2) was accidentally released into the plant.

CO2 extinguishes a fire by displacing the oxygen that feeds it. This process posed a threat to the workers. The fire department’s Hazardous Material Team used self contained breathing apparatus and air monitoring equipment to enter the plant.

There were no injuries and Alberta Environment was contacted prior to the CO2 being removed.

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