By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
Police closed streets surrounding the Metro grocery store at Governor’s Road and Ogilvie Street in Dundas for more than two hours Friday, after nine fire service units responded to a hazardous materials call.
Hamilton fire service spokesperson Dave Christopher said a refrigerant leak from a cooling unit in the store caused the incident.
He said eleven workers were exposed to the gas leak – but everyone was all right. They went to paramedics at the scene as a precaution but will not need to be hospitalized.
“It’s not freon,” Christopher said of the gas that was released. “The worst effect of exposure is a sore throat.”
Inspectors from the City of Hamilton’s public health department were at the grocery store Friday afternoon, but did not seize any food after determining food storage temperatures stayed below the required temperature of -4 Celsius.
Public health spokesperson Tara Hall said the store did voluntarily dispose of some food because of quality reasons
“The compressors have been repaired and temperatures returned to proper operating temperatures,” Hall said, Friday evening.
Police closed sections of Ogilvie, Main, Hatt and Governors to traffic just before Noon. Police said all roads were re-opened by 2:25 p.m.
Hazmat crews were ventilating gas from the store.
Repairs were completed, and the store re-opened to the public by 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Christopher said there was no fire in the store – just a standard malfunction where the equipment is designed to release the gas. So the incident will not require a clean-up of any material – just ventilation of the gas out of the store.
Hamilton fire service sent two vehicles to the area just before 11 a.m. Friday morning responding to smoke conditions. A few minutes after the original call, more vehicles were sent. By 11:30 a.m., nine fire vehicles were on the scene.