Enbridge pipeline explosion forces evacuations near Prince George

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A natural gas pipeline explosion near Prince George is affecting people across the province and in Washington State, with customers being asked to cut back on consumption.

The Enbridge pipeline is under the regulatory authority of the National Energy Board (NEB), however it is Transport Canada that will be conducting an investigation into the explosion, with the help of NEB inspectors.

The spike could last one to two weeks, but it depends on how long the pipeline is out of service.

They say there are no injuries and no reported damage other than to the pipeline itself.

It damaged the company's primary natural gas pipeline linking the Fort Nelson area to Vancouver and south to another 750,000 customers in the northwest United States. A few gas stations in the Capital Region bumped prices almost 15 cents per litre to 153.9.

He said they have asked kitchens, which often leave gas running, to shut it down when it's not needed, watch overheating and ensuring water temperature isn't too high.

The effect was already being felt on Vancouver Island Wednesday. "As a precaution, an adjacent natural gas pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge has also been depressurized".

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"To me, it's just literally how vulnerable we are in that area", he said. "So we are asking everybody to chip in", said Stout.

This includes turning off thermostats and limiting other uses of natural gas as much as possible.

"Fortis BC, the local gas utility, is asking all customers, including UBC, to curtail non-essential use of natural gas", read a statement from UBC.

Enbridge says the explosion happened after one of its natural gas pipelines suffered a rupture around 5:45 p.m.

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

The pipeline is part of the T-South system, stretching over 1,000 kilometres from Chetwynd, B.C., to the US border, which is why it impacts gas distribution across the province and into Washington. Combined, they supply 85 per cent of all natural gas used province-wide.

More than 30 buildings of the Vancouver campus may be affected.

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