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Gas Analyst: Prices Set to Spike Following Pipeline Explosion

By CKPGToday By CKPGToday
Deanna Wagner | 11 October, 2018, 03:18

An explosion and fire in a pipeline that provides natural gas to about 1.5 million customers in British Columbia, Washington state and OR has prompted a plea from energy companies to conserve fuel as Indigenous leaders called for assurances of safety. "The utility has asked customers to restrict gas use at this time until more is known".

Unconfirmed reports say the fire has been put out.

"Enbridge emergency crews have responded, have isolated and are now depressurizing two natural gas transmission lines in the vicinity to contain the incident", he said. "The incident area has been cordoned off to maintain public safety".

They say there are no injuries and no reported damage other than to the pipeline itself.

After a pipeline explosion took place near Prince George last night, Fortis BC has announced that a massive number of customers could be affected. Most have been allowed to return.

He said the blast sounded like a huge rumbling train or low-flying jet passing over his roof.

The line ruptured on Lheidli T'enneh reserve land and witnesses who saw the explosion described it as an incandescent orange fireball that could be seen for kilometres.

They heard what sounded like thunder just after 5:30 p.m.

The family left their home shortly after that.

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Police say residences within several kilometres were evacuated as a precaution, but the evacuation zone has now been reduced to residences within a one kilometre radius of the explosion site.

The Enbridge website describes its almost 2,900 kilometre natural gas pipeline as capable of "transporting approximately 55 per cent of the gas produced in the province", and "the backbone of B.C.'s natural gas industry since 1957".

National Energy Board spokesman Tom Neufeld said the fire was along Enbridge's Westcoast main line, which falls under the board's jurisdiction.

The pipeline is part of the T-South system, stretching over 1,000 kilometres from Chetwynd, B.C., to the US border, which is why it impacts gas distribution across the province and into Washington.

"NEB inspectors have been deployed to this area".

One of the two lines ruptured and exploded but the second line is also shut while it's being checked for damage, said Stout, prompting Fortis to warn of "decreased energy flow and potential loss of service".

An emergency operations centre has reportedly been activated.

It will work closely with the Transportation Safety Board, which is responsible for investigating the incident, Neufeld said.