Northwestern Ont. has history of gas leaks

Pipeline safety is a big issue these days, with projects such as Keystone XL and Northern Gateway waiting approval.

Incidents in Nipigon, Beardmore and Upsala involved leaks, fires, explosions

It took about seven hours for the fire to burn itself out after a ruptured TransCanada PipeLines gas main exploded near Beardmore, Ont. in February of 2011.

Pipeline safety is a big issue these days, with projects such as Keystone XL and Northern Gateway waiting approval.

An investigation by CBC News shows more than 1,000 incidents have taken place on pipelines across Canada in the past 12 years, including fires, explosions or the release of natural gas.

The investigation also uncovered several notable events in northwestern Ontario.

In the Nipigon area, in 2011 and 2012, one million and 13 million litres of natural gas were discharged in separate incidents.

In the latter incident, according to the National Energy Board, “a small fire occurred when a technician left a clipboard on top of a jet after completing … [an] inspection and the unit was restarted. The fire was detected ... resulting in an emergency shut-down of the unit.”

A well-publicized incident at Beardmore in 2011 saw an explosion and fire after the gas line ruptured.

And at Upsala in 2009, an incident occurred in which gas was discharged from the pipeline when a weld cracked.

Corrections

  • Due to a conversion error, an earlier version of this story indicated 13 billion litres of natural gas were discharged in an incident near Nipigon. In fact, 13 million litres of natural gas were discharged.
    Oct 28, 2013 8:18 PM ET

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