Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Update on Calgary Metal Recycling - May 8

Significant progress was made in attacking the fire today at Calgary Metal Recycling. Public and responder safety remains the focus as crews move into the hottest portions of the pile this evening. Resources are positioned to combat any flare-ups that could occur as significant temperatures and pockets of ash are uncovered.

As has been repeatedly reported since the incident began, odour, dust and smoke conditions vary with wind patterns and weather conditions in addition to operational activities. Increasing winds from the south this afternoon forced the evacuation of one building immediately adjacent to the Calgary Metal site. Approximately 40 people were evacuated from 3201 Ogden Road SE at 2:45 p.m.

This evacuation was required due to significant smoke, dust and ash blowing in the wind. Given the proximity of the building, products of combustion were detected in the building itself. Other than this circumstance, air quality remains acceptable and continues to be monitored. It is anticipated that the building air will be cleared by morning and that employees can return to their place of employment at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 9. Calgary Fire Department will conduct air monitoring prior to the reopening of business to ensure conditions are safe.

“We understand that being asked to leave immediately is a concern,” says Deputy Chief Len MacCharles. “We thank the evacuees for their understanding. Their safety and well-being is our first priority.”

To facilitate the operation and ensure pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety, Ogden Road SE from Bonnybrook Road SE to 38 Street SE remains closed. There continues to be access for local business. Transit route detours for Routes 24 and 302 remain in effect. All efforts are being made to reopen the roadway as soon as possible.

“While we’ve made significant progress throughout the day, I anticipate a clearer timeframe on when this event will be completed within the next 24 hours,” says MacCharles. “There remains a lot of work to do and we’re still in a hazardous situation as the most heated portions of the pile are now being exposed. Our commitment is to find resolution as soon as possible while ensuring site and public safety.”

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