MONTREAL – Energy experts say a chain gas explosion like the one that tore through three Boston suburbs could happen in Canada, but that such a possibility is unlikely.
The director of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy says the type of multiple explosions that caused more than 20 fires and at least one death in Massachusetts is extremely rare.
Warren Mabee says most networks have alarms that shut down the system before an excess of pressure starts leaking or building up to the point of explosion, though it’s unclear why those didn’t work Thursday.
A spokesperson for Quebec-based natural gas firm Energir says the company has a much newer network than Boston’s and many safeguards in place to prevent, and respond to, breaks and pressure buildups.
Catherine Houde says the company deals with 500 breaks per year and hasn’t had a fire or explosion since a fatal incident killed one person in 2005 in Pointe-du-Lac, about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City.
But she says there’s always a danger when dealing with natural gas and the company will follow the aftermath of the Boston incident to learn more about what happened.
— With files from The Associated Press