Leaking propane tank fixed near Alberta Easter Seal camp for disabled children

COCHRANE, Alta. - Children from an Easter Seals camp had to evacuate during a gas scare in the Alberta foothills Friday, but returned hours later after the smell was traced to a flood-damaged propane tank.

Crews originally responded to reports of a gas smell along Highway 66, just south of the Trans-Canada Highway near Cochrane.

Area administrator Shawn Polley said about 50 people were told to leave Camp Horizon, an outdoor get-away for children with disabilities.

"We requested they were evacuated to Bragg Creek Community Centre," he said. "They were able to muster very quickly and move in a safe and orderly fashion to that site."

Highway 66 was closed as a precaution.

About three dozen workers from the provincial government, industry, police and fire crews responded to the report. Using a gas detector, they were soon able to trace the source of the gas smell.

"They found out it was a (1,400-kilogram) propane cylinder that had been interrupted during the flooding of the Elbow River and had perched itself between a tree and rock bed," said Polley. "It just appears that a valve had opened up and some product was venting.

"They closed the valve."

The highway was reopened and an emergency alert lifted within two hours of its being declared.

Torrential rains in southern Alberta in June caused extensive flooding.