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Fortis BC Customers Asked to Reduce Natural Gas Use Following Pipeline Explosion Near Prince George

Enbridge’s pipeline explosion near Prince George hit too close to home for many people including BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

He was one of many from the Shelley Reserve who were evacuated from Tuesday’s incident.

“I live on the north side, the side that was evacuated and I do have a home there with my wife as she is from the L’hedili Tenneh, I have lived there for approximately seventeen years and have never seen anything like this before.”

Teegee says the pipeline was located less than a kilometer away from the community and that most residents spent the night in a hotel instead of going back home.

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An update is expected later today from two of Canada’s major committees as members of the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) have been deployed.

“The recent fire was on the west coast Mainline Loop, which is owned by Enbridge,” says NEB spokesperson Chantal MacLeod.

“So we do have many inspectors that have been deployed to the area near Prince George and they’re working alongside the company and another emergency response partners.”

Chris Krepski with TSB says two of its officials are en route as it is in the Board’s mandate to respond to Federally regulated projects.

“We will enter the site when it is safe to do so, and then we will examine the pipeline and any related installations; we will also be interviewing witnesses, interviewing those with the company, company officials, and first responders.”

Fortis BC is currently asking customers across the province to turn off thermostats to reduce gas and energy use.

“As a result of the incident affecting the Enbridge pipeline that feeds our system we are anticipating decreased energy flow and potential loss of service,” said Corporate Communications Advisor, Diana Sorace.

“Although FortisBC’s system is not damaged, we are working hard to continue to provide the energy flow to your homes and businesses. We are monitoring the situation and will provide updates.”

The Enbridge pipeline runs from Chetwynd to the Canada-United States border, serving natural gas to those mainly living in the Lower Mainland and further North.

“Enbridge emergency crews did respond and they have isolated and are finishing the pressurizing of the two natural gas lines in the vicinity to contain this incident and an area was cordoned off,” said Enbridge spokesperson, Michael Barnes.

The explosion was reported late Tuesday afternoon by the Prince George RCMP. No injuries were reported.

(With files from MyPrinceGeorgeNow)

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