Pipeline explodes near Prince George, B.C.: RCMP

Pipeline explodes near Prince George, B.C.: RCMP

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

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

The company serves just over a million customers across the province, from the Lower Mainland to Northern B.C. "We thought it might have been a train crash because there are two train tracks on each side of the river, but then we looked out back and it was this massive ball of fire", Regional Chief Terry Teegee of the nearby Takla Lake First Nation told CTV News.

Puget Sound Energy asked its customers in a tweet on Wednesday to conserve natural gas.

One of the two lines ruptured and exploded, but the second line is also shut while it's being checked for damage, prompting Fortis to warn of decreased energy flow and potential loss of service.

The pipeline is part of the T-South system, which stretches over 1,000 kilometres from Chetwynd to the B.C.

'Thank you for all your concern, we are all okay, we are staying at a hotel tonight, the community is evacuated, everyone is accounted for and okay too.

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Police say it is still unclear what caused the natural gas pipeline to rupture but there are no injuries and no reported damage other than to the line itself.

The electricity and gas company FortisBC asked all British Columbians to turn down their thermostats and reduce natural gas use on other appliances on Tuesday.

A memo circulated from UVic's facilities management division noted the university has already switched its central heating system to diesel from natural gas, and has suggested staff and students bring warmer clothes to work and class.

"This is a unique situation, we rarely have horrific explosion as we've had north of Prince George", Horgan said.

"The incident area has been cordoned off to maintain public safety". "Investigators are on the scene, RCMP, National Energy Board, as well as the [BC] Oil and Gas Commission, and we'll wait to hear what the cause of this horrific accident was".

"Safety is always our top focus and top priority". "The most significant impact right now is what we are doing in terms of precautions", said B.C. Minister of Energy Michelle Mungall.

On Wednesday afternoon, the company were still working on restoring the pipeline, and had a 1000-yard exclusion zone around the explosion site.

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