PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Most residents of a northern B.C. community are being allowed back into their homes after a gas pipeline ruptured, sparking a massive blaze.
RCMP say the explosion happened at about 5:30 p.m. PT Tuesday and forced about 100 members of the nearby Lheidli T’enneh First Nation from their homes.
Officials say it was from an Enbridge natural gas pipeline in Shelley, B.C., about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George.
Police say residences within several kilometres were evacuated as a precaution, but the evacuation zone has now been reduced to residences within a one kilometre radius of the explosion site.
They say there are no injuries and no reported damage other than to the pipeline itself.
The gas supply has been shut down and police say there is no indication of a cause at this point in time.
National Energy Board spokesman Tom Neufeld said the fire was along Enbridge’s Westcoast main line, which falls under the board’s jurisdiction.
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.
“NEB inspectors have been deployed to this area. They’re going to monitor and oversee the company’s response to the incident, and they’re going to determine the impact and extent of the fire and release,” Neufeld said.
The agency will work closely with the Transportation Safety Board, which is responsible for investigating the incident, he said.