A pipeline explosion has left 4,000 people without gas to heat their homes in the frigid temperatures of Manitoba. The TransCanada Pipelines valve site went up in a huge explosion on Saturday and customers of Manitoba Hydro were notified that they may not get their natural gas for heating their homes for at least one day. This was updated later in the day when the company asked customers to “prepare themselves for an outage that could last several days.”
According to The Globe and Mail on Jan. 26, community warming centers have been provided. Heather Chambers Ewen, the spokesperson for Hanover, which is one of the rural municipals in this gas shut-off area, said that people are opting to stay at home or to stay with friends. She said that not many have opted to use the warming centers. The area is experiencing temperatures of -20 C and the blowing snow has caused the highways to close down.
Trucks are bringing in a limited supply of the natural gas for heating homes today. The trucks will go to the areas deemed as “critical locations,” like the hospitals, nursing homes and health centers.
What caused the explosion is not known, the investigation is on-going. The explosion sent a fireball into the night sky and it caused evacuations of nearby residents. The fire was extinguished on late Saturday afternoon.