Natural gas use back to normal in Seattle region after blast

Posted October 14, 2018

The explosion was reported about 5:45 Tuesday evening, when a 36-inch diameter gas pipeline ruptured and the gas ignited, sending a fireball and smoke into the sky.

The Canadian regulator, National Energy Board (NEB), approved on Wednesday night the restart of the 30-inch line after a comprehensive integrity assessment, Enbridge said.

The pipeline provides natural gas to Washington state.

The analysts say they expect Enbridge will restore the pipeline to service within a week or two, given the lack of damage to the parallel line and the high priority of restoring gas to residential markets in the beginning of winter.

FortisBC earlier asked customers to avoid non-essential use of gas and said there could be service disruptions.

"All refineries run on natural gas to create steam, to create energy, to turn oil into gasoline", McTeague said.

Tolko Industries Ltd. closed its Heffley Creek plywood plant near Kamloops and reduced operations at sawmills in the Cariboo at Quesnel and Soda Creek.

'Enbridge has been in constant communication with members of the community; we have provided accommodations and where appropriate are assisting in a return to their communities.

There was also a considerable amount of gas stored within the pipelines themselves, under pressure, but not in liquid form, said Swanson.

Enbridge spokesperson Michael Barnes says a full investigation into what caused the rupture is underway and the company is working with nearby communities to maintain public safety.

Enbridge records indicate the last inspection on the pipeline was conducted by the company a year ago, Iain Colquhoun, the National Energy Board's chief engineer, said Thursday.

"So far, we're OK-the weather being so nice", Dennis Hougham, another resident, said.

He said the blast left a crater and a burn area of about 400 metres.

While everyone got out of the area safely, Teegee said it had been a stressful day that had taken an emotional toll.