Pipeline ruptures, sparks massive fire north of Prince George, B.C.

Enbridge pipeline ruptures, sparks fire near Prince George

The effects of Tuesday's natural gas pipeline rupture in B.C. north of Prince George are rippling through the Pacific Northwest as refineries adjust operations and customers are urged to conserve natural gas.

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.

He adds they're working to find a quick solution.

RCMP said the cause is still under investigation.

Fortis says "while bringing the natural gas back on is a positive step, the gas supply will continue to be constrained until the 36 inch line is repaired".

The agency will work closely with the Transportation Safety Board, which is responsible for investigating the incident, he said.

Residents within several kilometres were evacuated as a precaution, but the evacuation zone has since been reduced to one kilometre.

Here in B.C., residents are being asked to turn down their thermostat, turn off furnaces and minimize use of hot water.

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No injuries have been reported.

Gas prices across Greater Victoria have jumped following a pipeline explosion in B.C. that has affected refineries.

"When they run into trouble, it's clear that unless prices rise to attract vessels from other parts of the world, you're going to end up with no supply or pretty dramatic increases in the price of gasoline".

"As I started driving down my street I saw more flames and more flames, and they were getting higher and higher. So I would assume this is Enbridge's absolute No. 1 priority to get fixed".

No indication of a cause has been determined. "Investigators will conduct an examination of the scene and a further update will be forthcoming tomorrow (Wednesday)".

Unconfirmed reports say the fire has been put out.

"To the best of our knowledge and from what we can see. there were no worrisome anomalies in the line", he said in a telephone interview from Calgary. The City has also stated it is prepared to deliver emergency support services, in conjunction with the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, if required.

A larger, 36-inch line that ruptured Tuesday remains out of service with no timeframe for fix, which is limiting the supply of natural gas in the north, southwestern B.C., and Vancouver Island.

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