Authorities are investigating the cause of a TransCanada pipeline explosion last weekend that cut natural gas—and thus heat—off from at least 4,000 people in Manitoba as temperatures plummeted to minus-25 degrees Fahrenheit.
No one was hurt in the incident, but bystanders caught video of what witnesses told CBC News sounded like a jet plane. Fireballs erupted amid the roar in the January 25 explosion, shooting from about 650 to nearly 1,000 feet (200 to 300 meters) into the air, the network said.
The explosion occurred near Otterburne, which is about 15 miles south of Winnipeg. The pipeline also supplies a company that sells gas to customers in the U.S., but their service was not affected, CBC News said.
TransCanada Corp. is the company angling to build the infamous Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The southern leg of the pipeline, which runs through Texas, began carrying crude from U.S. sources this week. A decision about the portion that would bring Canadian oil sands crude in over the border is still pending before the U.S. Department of State and President Barack Obama.
The company and local authorities were cobbling together service for the affected 4,000 households. TransCanada is constructing a bypass for the shattered portion of pipeline, as it trucks in compressed gas for individual delivery. Some customers’ gas was restored earlier this week.
The blast left a 10-foot-deep crater about 30 feet in diameter, Canadian Transportation Safety Board senior investigator Jerry Berriault told CBC News. He said it appeared to have started on a high-pressure gas line 30 inches in diameter.
Below is video of the explosion itself, and under that, another one with more context.