An ammonia accident in a British Columbia – Canada, arena took their life to three workers in charge of maintenance work.
The accident has drawn attention to the risks of ammonia in refrigeration systems and to the need for regular inspections and proper maintenance, as arenas are very popular in Canada, with a large number of users.
Around 75 % of the arenas in Canada use ammonia as refrigerant fluid, while the others rely on fluorocarbons. Discussions arose about the right choice for the refrigerant, and it was showcased that, following a safety analysis, a city decided on HFC-134a to replace its aging ammonia plant, partly due to the risk concerns but also because it didn’t require the daily oversight of a certified refrigeration engineer.
In 2011, an Olympic medalist skater was caught in an ammonia cloud due to a leakage, leaving her disabled, with difficulties in breathing and speaking.