Another gas leak at the site of the August 26 explosion in Wheatley has forced municipal officials to halt access to properties in the evacuation zone.
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent said a gas release was detected for a short period of time on Monday at the same site as the explosion. This detection comes just one day after a gas release was detected at the site on Sunday, which lasted approximately eight hours.
“Due to this recent development, appointments for people to temporarily enter their properties [on Tuesday] have been postponed until it can be confirmed that the zone is safe for re-entry,” the municipality said in a news release.
The municipality began making appointments last week to allow residents and business owners to access their properties within the evacuation zone.
The municipality said technical experts are thoroughly reviewing the data from the recent gas leaks to determine if changes need to be made to the temporary homeowner re-entry process.
Firefighters will remain at the scene to ensure the safety of the community, the municipality said. A case manager is also on-site to provide assistance to residents.
An investigation into the gas leaks is ongoing. The municipality has previously stated that technical investigators at the scene have identified three primary areas of interest.
Two buildings in the area of Erie Street and Talbot Road East were destroyed in the blast in August, with several surrounding buildings also damaged by flying debris.