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Posts Tagged "Evacuation"

13Jul

Aerosol can forces evacuation at Victoria airport

by admin

Passengers departing Victoria International Airport Saturday morning were forced to go through security twice after a prohibited item passed through the airport’s security checkpoint.

The airport tweeted that a “security breach” had forced the evacuation of the departures area and caused “minor delays to a few flights.”

Airport spokesman Rod Hunchak told CTV News the security breach was caused by an aerosol can that was identified during the security screening process, but couldn’t be located before the passenger it belonged to had retrieved their bag.

“It was a matter of timing,” Hunchak said. “They couldn’t positively identify the passenger immediately.”

After evacuating the departures area, airport staff reviewed security camera footage and were able to determine who the aerosol can belonged to.

Hunchak said the owner of the prohibited item had already boarded a WestJet flight that was waiting to depart. Officials boarded that flight and retrieved the aerosol can, which turned out to be sunscreen, Hunchak said.

A total of four departing flights were grounded during the incident.

The departures area was deemed secure shortly after 10:30 a.m., at which point evacuated passengers were re-screened. Hunchack said this process was expedited by extra staff from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

Early Saturday afternoon, the airport tweeted to thank passengers for their patience during the incident.

Hunchak said the situation was a good reminder to travellers to double-check the list of prohibited items before heading to the airport.

“It’s good to check right before you go through security so you don’t get your items taken,” he said.




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11Mar

Evacuation order lifted at Maple Ridge homeless camp

by admin

An evacuation order at the controversial Anita Place homeless camp in Maple Ridge has been lifted. 

Occupants of the tent city were ordered out March 2, so emergency officials could remove safety hazards following a series of fires at the tent city. 

Many of the dozens of residents were moved to a temporary shelter on Lougheed Highway.

In a news release Monday afternoon, the City of Maple Ridge said 35 propane tanks and 800 cubic metres of fire-related debris have since been removed. 

It’s also developed a safety plan, including a site perimeter and 24-hour security. New people who arrive will be prohibited from moving in.

Emergency officials carried out an evacuation order at the Anita Place homeless camp March 2, following a series of fires at the site. (Megan Batchelor / CBC)

“The city has erected a perimeter all around the camp with only one access point and they have bylaw security guards and RCMP staffing the gate at the checkpoint,” said Ivan Drury, advocate with the group, Alliance Against Displacement. 

“They’re only allowing access to people who they say were verified as official occupants of the camp, back during registration over two days in late February.”

The city confirms only verified camp residents, their legal counsel and government outreach workers will now be allowed to access the site.

Verification process criticized

Lawyers representing the homeless campers are also questioning the registration process.

“That process was extremely barrier-filled and had several problems with it,” said Caitlin Shane with Pivot Legal Society. “There were a number of people who didn’t get identified despite wanting to get identified.”

The city said the verification measure will ensure registered occupants have applied for housing services. 

But Shane argued the city didn’t give everyone the proper opportunity to identify themselves.

“The camp was entirely shut down for a large period of the second day [of February] so that no one was allowed on site during which time the city was supposed to be identifying people but was not.”

Sandi Orr is one of dozens of homeless people who’ve been living at Anita Place for more than a year. (Rohit Joseph/CBC)

The city said the size of the encampment will continue to shrink as verified occupants are connected with support services.

In the meantime, no new construction materials or solid structures will be allowed on the site.  All propane, gasoline, aerosol paint cans and other ignition sources are also banned.

B.C. Housing is in the process of restoring power to the washroom and shower facility and is installing a heating system for the warming tent.


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