Enbridge pipeline explosion forces evacuations near Prince George

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 11, 2018

"About 70 per cent of customers could be impacted here", said Douglas Stout, vice-president of external relations with FortisBC.

At Harmac Pulp in Nanaimo, which employs 320 people, the company has switched to oil as its fuel source. "Anyone using natural gas for other purposes, such as research, is asked to take steps immediately to stop that use".

"As a result of the incident affecting the Enbridge pipeline that feeds our system we are anticipating decreased energy flow and potential loss of service", notes the utility provider in an alert issued early Wednesday morning.

A section of the pipeline owned by Texas-based Enbridge Inc. ruptured on Tuesday evening in the Lheidli T'enneh Nation community near Prince George, sending up massive flames that forced the evacuation of about 100 people and led to the shutdown of both oil and gas supply lines in the region.

Residents previously evacuated can return home.

'We can advise the fire on the pipeline has been extinguished, the line has been isolated and fully depressurized. "I just made a decision to get out". "The temperature in all buildings will be reduced in order to conserve fuel. At this time, it is unknown when regular heating service will resume", the memo said.

"We're not going to move away because of one explosion", Frederick said.

Restaurants around the province, on the other hand, are looking at ways of using less natural gas. "The most significant impact right now is what we are doing in terms of precautions", said B.C. Minister of Energy Michelle Mungall.

In an updated statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, FortisBC said there had so far been a reduction in natural gas use of about 20 per cent provincewide, but that further cuts are needed.

Homebuilders are not expecting to feel any impact unless a shortage becomes a long-term problem. "For some reason or another the gas had stopped flowing and it built up and it just exploded", Frederick said.

"Enbridge said it was safe to go home".

'Enbridge has teams on the ground in the area and has mobilized additional response crews to maintain ongoing safety, ensure the needs of area residents are being met, and support the investigation [into the cause of the explosion]'.

Several homes were evacuated after a pipeline ruptured and caused a large fire near Prince George, B.C. Tuesday.

The company will update its customers as soon as it is in a position to offer something new, said Stout.

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