Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Pipeline explosion sends fireball shooting into the sky and evacuates a community

Updated 11:24am Updated
Melinda Barton | 11 October, 2018, 07:55's Dan McTeague issued an alert Wednesday saying the Enbridge natural gas pipeline explosion has affected refineries in Washington state.

"No FortisBC infrastructure has been damaged as a result of the incident affecting Enbridge's transmission pipeline".

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

The explosion shut down the Enbridge natural gas pipeline about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George.

"Turn down your thermostat if you are in a cold spot".

The effect was already being felt on Vancouver Island Wednesday.

The incident forced the evacuation of several homes in the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation, but most of the roughly 100 residents have been allowed to return home.

The natural gas shortage itself affects customers throughout British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.

"I was able to see it very clearly from the hill", he said.

"This is a unique situation", the Premier said at an unrelated media event in Vancouver on Wednesday.

Gas prices could jump in the Pacific Northwest due to a natural gas pipeline explosion.

"I saw the smoke, threw my stuff on, and I thought I was just going to drive and check it out", explains one female witness who was near the scene.

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

"Turn your thermostats down as low as possible, obviously that depends on the region you're in what you can do, minimize the use of hot water if you've got a gas water heater, turn off your fireplace".

Puget Sound Energy, a USA energy company, is also asking customers in Washington state to help conserve natural gas and electricity because of B.C.'s pipeline rupture and the impact it has on the US gas supply.

Stout said Fortis expected to receive updates on the situation as Transportation Safety Board investigators and National Energy Board inspectors arrived to assess the damage and attempt to determine a cause of the blast.

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

"We are asking them to cut back, too, because we can flow some of that gas past them and down here to the Lower Mainland". The gas has been shut off.