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B.C. Coroners Service releases identities of victims of ammonia leak in Fernie
Published Friday, October 20, 2017 10:34AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, October 20, 2017 7:11PM MDT
Officials in B.C. have identified the three maintenance workers who died in a workplace accident at the Fernie Memorial Hockey Arena this week.
They were Wayne Allan Hornquist, 59, and Lloyd Stewart Smith, 52, both of Fernie; and Jason Donovan Podloski, 46, of Turner Valley, Alberta.
The B.C. Coroners Service is still investigating the incident alongside WorkSafeBC, Technicial Safety B.C., the RCMP and the employer.
Hornquist, Smith and Podloski were working on repairing a problem at the hockey arena on October 17 that was detected earlier in the day, prompting the closure of the building.
Officials still aren't sure what caused the deadly anhydrous ammonia to leak from the facility's cooling systems, leading to the deaths of the three men.
In a Facebook post earlier this week, the Alberta Association of Recreation Facility Personnel posted a photo of Smith, saying he is remembered for his matter of fact way of speaking, easygoing nature and 'contagious smile'.
"Quick to praise good work, Lloyd was our incoming President of the Board and leaves a huge void in all of our lives. Lloyd will be deeply missed," the post said.
Laureen Harper, wife of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and childhood friend of Smith's, tweeted about the news:
Just found out my childhood friend Lloyd Smith died at the Fernie Arena. He taught me to drive a zamboni at the High River rink. https://t.co/lofmHkk3pm— Laureen Harper (@LaureenHarper) October 20, 2017
Officials in the City of Fernie are planning to release more details about the incident at 2:00 p.m.
(With files from CTV Vancouver's Kendra Mangione)