Canadian pipeline explodes, leaving thousands shivering

On Saturday, a natural gas pipeline in the TransCanada Corp exploded and left thousands cold in southeast Manitoba.

According to Reuters and CBC News, officials have not yet detected a cause for the explosion.

“It’s going to take time before we can figure out the cause of this fire,” said Karl Johannson, TransCanada’s executive vice-president and president of natural gas pipelines, “and it’s going to take some evaluation and analysis before we can give you an answer on what exactly has occurred.”

CBC News said that about 4,000 natural gas consumers in the area were left without heat. The explosion occurred near Otterburne, Manitoba, about 50 km south of the capital Winnipeg.

“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” said resident Paul Rawluk.

CBC News said that residents were left in the cold with temperatures down to -32 C. The TransCanada Corp plans to rebuild the pipeline and restore gas to the municipalities north and south of the damaged area by Monday or Tuesday night. In the meantime, officials from the Manitoba Hydro natural gas distribution system cautioned residents to turn down their thermostats and turn off natural gas appliances such a ovens and stovetops.

The damage also affected nearly 100,000 Xcel consumers in the United States, said CBC News.

Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

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