A contracted hazmat team from Sidney was called in after two transformers fell from a platform behind Coronation Mall and spilled a possibly contaminated substance onto the ground. (Mike Gregory Photo)

UPDATED: Toppling transformers spurs hazmat response behind Ladysmith mall

RCMP receive tip about possible suspects spotted earlier Wednesday

A hazmat team was called in to cleanup a contamination spill after a pair of transformers toppled off a platform behind Ladysmith’s Coronation Mall.

Ladysmith RCMP and Fire Rescue both received calls at approximately 9 a.m. on Wednesday about the incident behind Save-On-Foods.

“We’re not sure what caused them to fall. There’s no surveillance so we can’t determine a cause, if it’s a person or if the wind just caused it,” said RCMP Const. Christine Pearce.

“Some of the contents spilled out so we’re using precautions of course just to be safe.”

Both the transformers that fell the approximately 20 feet to the ground had been de-energized and were slated for removal today.

A third appeared to have been tampered with but remained in place.

The transformers contained polychlorinated biphenlys (PCBs) and a hazmat team contracted from Sidney arrived later in the afternoon to clean up the contaminants.

A maintenance worker at Coronation Mall told RCMP he saw two people on bikes earlier this morning salvaging parts from the transformers.

“I seen them on their bikes ripping the transformers apart and told them that’s hazardous and that’s it private property,” he said, adding that both the individuals were gone by the time managers arrived on scene.

RCMP are calling the incident as suspicious until otherwise they determine otherwise and will continue to investigate.

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