FortisBC is warning its one million customers across the province that they could lose natural gas services following an pipeline rupture in Prince George Tuesday night.
Police say the explosion along an Enbridge natural gas pipeline sparked a massive fire at about 5:30 p.m. in Shelley, about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George,
The pipeline is part of the Westcoast Transmission System, transporting 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.
FortisBC and Puget Sound Energy are now asking customers to conserve natural gas and electricity – including lowering thermostats and limiting hot water use.
We're asking our customers to do the same and please reduce the use of their natural gas appliances.
— FortisBC (@FortisBC) October 10, 2018
“We are anticipating decreased energy flow and potential loss of service to some gas customers,” FortisBC said, adding a dip in service could impact 70 per cent of its total customers.
On Tuesday night, homes within several kilometres were placed under an evacuation order as a precuation, police said, but have since been given some the go-ahead to return home. An evacuation order is still in effect around a one-kilomtre radius.
No one was injured, according to RCMP. The gas supply has been shut off.
It remains unclear what caused the explosion.
With files from The Canadian Press