Ep 69 Fernie Arena Ammonia Accident

Engineering News – Harvesting Freshwater from the Ocean’s Surface (1:10)

This week's engineering failure is the Fernie Arena Ammonia Accident (4:00). Built over 50 years ago, the arena (9:15) and its ice making equipment (11:10) were in need of repair. After ignoring warning signs for years that the plant was failing (15:35) in October 2017, a tragic accident occurred (22:35) sparking an investigation into what went wrong in Fernie (27:55). 


Engineering News


Fernie Arena Ammonia Leak

Episode Summary

Hi and welcome to Failurology; a podcast about engineering failures.  I’m your host, Nicole

And I’m Brian. And we’re both from Calgary, AB. 

This week in engineering news, harvesting freshwater from the ocean's surface.

Now on to this week’s engineering failure; the Fernie Arena Ammonia Leak.

Fernie Memorial Arena

Ice Making Basics

Sequence of Events

Day of the Leak


 So there you have it, aging equipment, ignored operating issues, and a lack of safety policies led to the ammonia leak in Oct 2017 and the loss of three lives. This accident, like pretty much all of the others we discuss, was entirely preventable. 

For photos, sources and an episode summary from this week’s episode head to Failurology.ca.  If you’re enjoying what you’re hearing, please rate, review and subscribe to Failurology, so more people can find us.  If you want to chat with us, our Twitter handle is @failurology, you can email us thefailurologypodcast@gmail.com, you can connect with us on Linked In or you can message us on our Patreon page.  Check out the show notes for links to all of these. Thanks, everyone for listening.  And tune in to the next episode, which is episode 70, an engineering marvel. We’re going to be talking about one of the American Civil Engineering Society’s seven wonders of the engineering world, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bye everyone, talk soon!