Abandoned gas wells have been identified as the source of Whitley’s gas leaks

It has been six months since the first gas leak in downtown Wheatley forced residents to evacuate, and efforts to find the source of the gas are at zero on the floor of a bar in August.

Chatham-Kent’s chief executive, Don Shropshire, reported that the gas appeared to be coming from under the former Pog Pub Pub 15th Street north of two concrete slabs, not from nearby discharged gas wells.

Shropshire said two concrete slabs on the pog and the adjacent motel gas had to be removed to determine if they were coming from below.

“The gas is not being pumped out of the wells we thought could be the cause,” says Shropshire.

The municipality reported last Thursday afternoon that 30 percent of the 40 percent of their homes and properties have been relocated to landlords and tenants in the IDP zone.

According to Shropshire, the area is still volatile due to ongoing gas leaks and it is difficult to estimate when residents will return safely.

“We are doing everything we can to get people temporarily in and out of the building, but it must be done with the safety in mind,” Shropshire said. “It touches the hearts of families who have been displaced for months. It’s very hard on the residents but people in September or today Oh, yes, I will come home next week or try to bring in people for Christmas so we don’t want them to think about artificial things. You really want to do this, but sadly, this is not what we are experiencing now.

It estimates that it will take up to six months for the engineering institute to conduct the inspection in September.

Shropshire said security was a top priority.

“The last thing we want to do is wait six months, to find out if someone has lost their life because we didn’t take proper care of them,” Shropshire also said. Future activity that could cause another gas leak.

The next week, before the demolition of the old Pog and nearby buildings, Intrigue will remove power lines near the blast site.

Meanwhile, Wheatley BIA is pleased with a new security company hired by the municipality to protect the evacuation zone. BIA officials said the new company was “very responsible and a big job in securing its assets.”

Former security guards were fired last month after residents said they were worried about people being transferred at night and would probably take their property.

Chatham-Kent police said no break-ins were allowed in the blast zone.

It has been experiencing six hydrogen sulfide gas leaks since June 2, 2021, in the Whitley 15 Erie Street North area. An explosion on August 6, 2021, injured 20 people, forced dozens of homes and businesses, and damaged several buildings.

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