The same company pushing Keystone XL, TransCanada Corp., is trying to douse the flames of a burning pipeline today that has deprived around 4,000 people of heat in sub-zero weather. A natural gas pipeline overseen by the company exploded and caught fire Saturday near Otterburne, Manitoba, about 31 miles south of Winnipeg, Canada on Saturday.
Temperatures are expected to drop to minus thirty degrees Fahrenheit, given the wind chill factor.
A local state of emergency has been declared after Saturday’s explosion was reported at 1:05 AM, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Area resident Marc Labossiere made a video of the explosion before being forced to leave his house by police. He lost power and heat a short time later, and police knocked on his door, telling him to get out. Labossiere said of the blast, “It went from 500-600 feet in the air down to manageable.” He said, “Like, something they’re just waiting for it to snuff itself out and it’s still burning right now.”
At least nine nearby towns are expected to be without heat for multiple days. Manitoba Hydro said in a press release it has no set ETA on when heat will be restored, but said that residents should “prepare for an extended outage.”
Watch a video of the explosion seconds after it began: