UPDATE: Bower Place reopened after faulty air handling unit

Mall goers evacuated as safety precaution

The odour of gas was wafting throughout parts of Red Deer on Saturday after construction workers struck a gas line on the southeast corner of Gaetz Ave. and Bennett St., according to Red Deer Emergency Services.

In the afternoon on Saturday, the City of Red Deer posted on Facebook that emergency services were responding to a “potential gas leak in the Bower area.”

The post said Gaetz Ave. north and southbound lanes would stay closed between Molly Banister Drive and 22nd St. until the situation was dealt with. They have since re-opened.

Crews shut down the power south of Bennett St. for a few hours. Several businesses in the Bower area had to be closed and evacuated as a result.

In a separate incident, Red Deerians heading out for an afternoon shopping trip at Bower Place Shopping Centre were surprised to learn the mall was closed due to a faulty air handling unit, according to mall security personnel.

“The City turned down a phase of our power,” said the security member on duty, adding that the power shutdown was part of the City’s reaction to the gas leak.

“As a result of the phase of that power, one of our HVAC started overheating and at this point in time, we’re not going to reopen until we get a call from the City, because we are only at partial power.”

The mall has since reopened.

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