Enbridge pipeline ruptures, sparks fire near Prince George

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A natural gas pipeline explosion near Prince George is affecting people across the province and in Washington State, with customers being asked to cut back on consumption.

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.

"There will be a small amount of delay time available in the.pipeline, but after that, I'm taking it, from what little I know about it, this is going to be a pretty serious shutdown and impact on residential, commercial and others in terms of the primary uses of natural gas for space heating and also for hot water", Craig 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.

It damaged the company's primary natural gas pipeline linking the Fort Nelson area to Vancouver and south to another 750,000 customers in the northwest United States.

As many as 70 per cent of FortisBC's natural gas customers could be without service following an explosion of a pipeline north of Prince George.

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Spain's AEMET national weather service said that the probability of such an event "is one in a thousand years". The downpours triggered major flash floods, which hurtled through streets in the eastern parts of the island.

The rupture occurred on a natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge about 13.5 kilometres from Prince George on Tuesday evening, Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes said in an emailed statement.

It happened in a spot that will impact the supply to most of B.C. About 700,000 FortisBC customers including all of those on Vancouver Island could be impacted by the shortage.

"But it may be at least one to two weeks".

"We can actually use oil for probably the next 24 hours or so and continue to run our operations, but after that things become more complex", said Harmac president Levi Sampson. The university still urges community members to limit or stop other usages of natural gas, such as those for research.

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

The institution sent an email to students last night warning that "building heating will be very limited on the north side of BCIT Burnaby Campus". Combined, they supply 85 per cent of all natural gas used province-wide.

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