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De Pere Ice Arena remains closed after nitrogen dioxide leak

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A zamboni tends to the ice at the De Pere Ice Arena.  The arena was shut down Monday, December 16, 2013 due to air safety conditions. (Photo from FOX 11).
A zamboni tends to the ice at the De Pere Ice Arena. The arena was shut down Monday, December 16, 2013 due to air safety conditions. (Photo from FOX 11).

DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - The De Pere Ice Arena remains closed after over 20 members of the Notre Dame Academy boys hockey team became ill from playing a game there Thursday night.

It was confirmed on Friday that those boys were sickened after a faulty Zamboni was leaking nitrogen dioxide, giving the players flu-like symptoms.

Vice President of Brown County Ice Management Al Hicks issued a statement on Tuesday:

"The safety of everyone who uses the De Pere Ice Center is a top priority, from the hockey players, figure skaters and officials to the fans and rink employees.  

"We have been working diligently to solve the problem caused by the nitrogen dioxide leak from the Zamboni ice resurfacing equipment since the issue came to light late last week after a number of high school hockey players became ill. We are pleased that they all are on the road to recovery from this incident.

"Since Friday, we made repairs to the Zamboni and have been doing regular testing of the air at the De Pere Ice Center. The air passed tests over the weekend, but test results today indicated that the nitrogen dioxide levels were high and the rink is closed.

"We are working closely with technicians from Zamboni to correct the problem. If the nitrogen dioxide leak from the current Zamboni cannot be adequately repaired, another Zamboni will be moved to the De Pere rink.

"In addition, we are bringing in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) technicians to evaluate the air handling system at the rink. We are also working cooperatively with the rink owner, the city of De Pere, and city health officials."

(Additional reporting from FOX 11)

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