Enbridge pipeline ruptures, sparks fire near Prince George, BC

Enbridge pipeline ruptures, sparks fire near Prince George, BC

The company serves just over a million customers across the province, from the Lower Mainland to Northern B.C. Turn off your furnace if you can, if you are in Vancouver or a situation where you can do that. "They're going to monitor and oversee the company's response to the incident, and they're going to determine the impact and extent of the fire and release", Neufeld said.

The Enbridge pipeline connects to the Northwest Pipeline system that feeds Puget Sound Energy in Washington state and Northwest Natural Gas in Portland.

After local gas utility Avista announced that customers would need to conserve natural gas due to a pipeline rupture in British Columbia, Canada, experts believe that the same shortage could hit motorists at the gas pump as well.

FortisBC has had to cut off the flow of natural gas while they assess the damaged line.

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

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

"We can advise the fire on the pipeline has been extinguished, the line has been isolated and fully depressurized, Barnes said".

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

Witness Terry Teegee said the blast shook the area at about 5:30 p.m.

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

Residents in the area were forced to evacuate temporarily.

Police say the evacuation zone is reduced to homes within a one-kilometre radius of the explosion site.

Fortis now has reserves in the pipeline south of Prince George, in its liquefied natural gas storage tanks in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, and there is some gas flowing from Alberta through a pipeline in southern B.C., he said.

The National Energy Board has sent inspectors to the scene and the Oil and Gas Commission is also investigating.

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

The provincial Ministry of Environment says it has been notified of the incident and that the 900 PSI gas line is operated by Enbridge.

Gas prices at a few stations in the Capital Region have already jumped almost 15 cents per litre to 153.9.

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