Enbridge pipeline explosion forces evacuations near Prince George

Prince George fire

Prince George fire

Of that million they estimate that approximately 700,000, or 70%, of those customers, could lose their gas supply.

The RCMP has confirmed that there has been a pipeline explosion in the vicinity of Prince George, B.C.

"We'll also be working with the regulators of our pipeline to determine what was the cause of this event and it will be a very detailed process, they will look at the pipe itself, analyze the pipe along with any other factors", said Michael Barnes, Enbridge Spokesperson.

The Westcoast Transmission System transports natural gas produced in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to consumers in B.C. and, through interconnecting pipelines, other Canadian provinces and the United States. There are no reports of injuries, he said.

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.

Stout urged another 300,000 customers in the Okanagan and southeastern B.C., to conserve even though their natural gas comes from Alberta.

Teegee, whose home is about one kilometre from the site, said he and most members of the community of about 100 people spent the night in hotels or with friends.

As a precaution, an adjacent natural gas pipeline owned and operated by Enbrige has also been depressurized, ' the statement said.

"There is a potential impact on Seattle and north of Seattle", Stout said.

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

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".

"When we were outside, I could feel the debris fall in my hair", he said. "So we are asking everybody to chip in", said Stout.

Washington State-based Puget Sound Energy is urging its 750,000 customers to lower their thermostats and limit hot water use at least through Wednesday.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating the cause of the blast and it is unclear how long it will be before the system is restored.

The company will update its customers as soon as it is in a position to offer something new, said Stout. Drivers across the Pacific Northwest should expect to see a hike in gas prices, McTeague said.

"As I started driving down my street I saw more flames and more flames, and they were getting higher and higher".

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