3rd pipeline explosion in northeastern B.C. in October
EnCana pipeline targeted again
Another explosion hit an EnCana Corp. sour-gas pipeline in B.C. Friday afternoon, this time near the small community of Tomslake, south of Dawson Creek near the Alberta border, the RCMP said.
"The site of an explosion was discovered at a natural gas wellhead at approximately 12:30 p.m. today," Sgt. Tim Shields said in a news release Friday.
"The site is about 12 kilometres northwest of the community of Tomslake … The explosion appears to have been deliberately detonated and is located in a rural isolated area," he said.
The explosion caused a small gas leak that was quickly contained by EnCana engineers.
The leak did not pose any danger to the public, and there is no report of any injuries, Shields said.
Members of the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team are at the scene.
'Right now I am very scared. I don't know what to do. I've been trying to find my family, load them up and get out of here.' — Eric Kuenzl, Tomslake residentA contract worker discovered the gas leak at the well site and informed operations engineers, EnCana said in a news release Friday.
EnCana has notified the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission about the latest incident.
"Given the two previous vandalism events earlier this month [October] in the region, EnCana immediately contacted the RCMP, and officers are at the scene investigating the cause of the leak and whether it is connected to the previous pipeline explosions in the region," the release said.
It's the third sour-gas pipeline explosion targeting EnCana's infrastructure in northeastern B.C. in October. All three have been in the same general area, but police have not determined whether Friday's blast is linked with the other two, which took place on Oct. 11 and Oct. 16.
A threatening letter was sent to Dawson Creek media prior to the first explosion. The letter called Encana, which is based in Calgary, and other energy companies "terrorists" for expanding deadly gas wells and gave the companies a deadline to shut down their operations.
Tomslake resident Eric Kuenzl said he only heard about the Friday blast from the media.
"Right now I am very scared. I don't know what to do. I've been trying to find my family, load them up and get out of here," Kuenzl told CBC News in a telephone interview.
He said local authorities should have notified nearby residents immediately after the explosion.
"Our own people wouldn't tell us what was going on here and apparently this happened at about 12:30 this afternoon. What took until six o'clock for the world to tell us about what's going on?" Kuenzl said.