Abbotsford International Airport was evacuated Wednesday morning after construction crews hit a gas line in front of the terminal.
The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. and prompted emergency crews to clear between 80 and 100 people from the airport’s terminal and block off AIA’s entrance.
The airport was reopened around 45 minutes after the leak was reported, with an inbound Westjet flight that had already held on the tarmac for 20 minutes, according to AIA director of operations Parm Sidhu.
The gas leak didn’t only disrupt normal airport operations; the real incident also delayed a training exercise involving simulated emergency situations. A note on the airport’s website had informed the public that “emergency situations will be simulated … to provide realistic training opportunities for airport staff and first responders.”
Sidhu said the gas leak underscored the reason for the training exercises.
“It tested our procedures,” he said. “You can never practice enough.”
The training exercise was able to begin after a short delay.