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Canada Public memorial held in Fernie for men killed in ammonia leak at rink

08:22  13 november  2017
08:22  13 november  2017 Source:   vancouversun.com

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Last October, three men died following a leak of the colourless gas at a rink in Fernie . A make-shift memorial for the three men killed in an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena. (submitted by Chris Inglis).

Hundreds of people gathered on a snow-covered field in Fernie Sunday to pay their final respects to three men who died in last month’s tragic ammonia leak at the local arena. The public memorial , held on the grounds of Fernie Secondary and broadcast live on Facebook, celebrated the lives of city

Fernie: The City of Fernie hosted a public memorial Nov. 12 to honour the lives of Wayne Hornquist, Lloyd Smith and Jason Podloski, who died Oct. 17 after an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena.<br />© Postmedia files The City of Fernie hosted a public memorial Nov. 12 to honour the lives of Wayne Hornquist, Lloyd Smith and Jason Podloski, who died Oct. 17 after an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena.

Hundreds of people gathered on a snow-covered field in Fernie Sunday to pay their final respects to three men who died in last month’s tragic ammonia leak at the local arena.

The public memorial, held on the grounds of Fernie Secondary and broadcast live on Facebook, celebrated the lives of city workers Wayne Hornquist, 59, and Lloyd Smith, 52, as well as of contractor Jason Podloski, 46, who were killed last month by the toxic, colourless gas while doing repairs at Fernie Memorial Arena.

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Hundreds of people gathered on a snow-covered field in Fernie Sunday to pay their final respects to three men who died in last month’s tragic ammonia leak at the local arena. The public memorial , held on the grounds of Fernie Secondary and broadcast live on Facebook, celebrated the lives of city

Hundreds of people gathered on a snow-covered field in Fernie Sunday to pay their final respects to three men who died in last month’s tragic ammonia leak at the local arena. The public memorial , held on the grounds of Fernie Secondary and broadcast live on Facebook, celebrated the lives of city

“Today’s service is the beginning of the healing process for all of us,” said Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano in an email to Postmedia. “It was a beautiful service but also an emotional, heart-wrenching time for everyone that attended, especially for the families”

Coun. Joel Warshawsky gave the eulogy for Hornquist, a longtime civic employee in charge of running facilities at the arena.

“Wayne was very engaging and personal when interacting with others,” said Warshawsky, who described Hornquist as a builder and craftsman with a perfectionist streak who enjoyed building cabins and forts and was a mentor to young people.

“Wayne was a great man whose values and actions made us better people by just being his friends,” he said. “Many of us lost our best friend but the world lost a great man.”

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WATCH: A deadly ammonia leak at a Fernie hockey rink last October was caused by an ice chilling system with a known leak , according to a report. Community memorial service held for three men killed in Fernie .

In October 2017, three workers were killed in an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena. Three months after three men died in a suspected ammonia leak at the local hockey rink in Fernie , B.C., the building has been handed back to the city.

Smith was remembered by his sister Karen Smith-Myles, who paid tribute to Smith’s love for his son and continuous quest for personal growth.

Smith, director of leisure services at the city for the past two years, was also a part-time paramedic and had completed an MBA at Royal Roads University. He had many more plans for the future, she said. “It doesn’t seem right that a person dedicating himself so thoroughly to growth would have been taken from us so suddenly.”

To honour his memory, she asked the community to “be thankful, show compassion,” and “challenge yourself to the point of failure. … That’s what Lloyd would have done.”

Podloski was a refrigeration technician from CIMCO who was called in to make emergency repairs to the arena’s refrigeration plant.

Tanya Hryniw shared memories of her brother, who had a passion for music and wood working. Podloski, who had two sons, had just bought a new house in Turner Valley, Alta. this summer and was “beyond excited” to host Christmas at home.

“Tragically, it all came to an end on Oct. 17. All our lives changed forever,” she said. “Jason made an enormous impact with everyone he came into contact with. The stories we are hearing are non-stop.”

On Oct. 17, the city shut down the arena after an alarm went off around 4 a.m. and called in a specialist for emergency repairs.

That afternoon, emergency crews responding to a 911 call found one person in distress outside the building. He later died. Two more victims were found inside the arena.

WorkSafeBC continues to investigate.

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