Fortis BC customers could lose service after pipeline explosion

  • Fortis BC customers could lose service after pipeline explosion

Fortis BC customers could lose service after pipeline explosion

"FortisBC is requesting all of our natural gas customers across the province to turn off their thermostats as well as reduce use of all other natural gas appliances".

A pipeline ruptured and sparked a massive fire north of Prince George, B.C.

A statement from Enbridge issued on Wednesday afternoon said the fire had been extinguished and the company were working with the First Nations tribe to ensure there was no further disruption to their lives.

No one was hurt when the fireball lit up the sky near the community of Shelley, British Columbia and forced about 100 members of the nearby Lheidli T'enneh First Nation from their homes.

The Westcoast Transmission System transports natural gas produced in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to consumers in B.C. and, through interconnecting pipelines, other Canadian provinces and the United States.

According to B.C.'s Ministry of Environment, the incident occured at a gas line that is operated by Enbridge.

Stout urged another 300,000 customers in the Okanagan and southeastern British Columbia., to conserve even though their natural gas comes from Alberta.

"Anybody who consumes natural gas, we're asking you to cut back to as little as possible and help us work through this situation to everybody's benefit", Stout said.

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

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

An evacuation order had been downgraded Wednesday to the handful of homes near the explosion site.

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

Some gas is still being brought in from Alberta across the southern Interior.

"To me, it's just literally how vulnerable we are in that area", he said. "The most significant impact right now is what we are doing in terms of precautions", said B.C. Minister of Energy Michelle Mungall.

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.

Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Homebuilders Association, said considering natural gas is the most affordable energy available, builders lean heavily toward building new homes that use it.

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