Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 01/25/2014 7:15 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 01/25/2014 9:39 PM | Updates
OTTERBURNE — Police won't be launching a criminal investigation into a pipeline explosion that forced some residents from their homes early Saturday morning.
St-Pierre-Jolys RCMP has determined the explosion wasn't suspicious and that the burning gas was non-toxic. Police have now cleared the scene, according to an RCMP news release issued Saturday night.
Five houses close to the fire were evacuated earlier today by RCMP and St-Pierre-Jolys Fire Department and those residents have now been allowed to return home. RCMP cruisers blocked roads into town until officials could determine the area was safe, but police now advise drivers in the area to proceed with caution.
When Eveline Wiebe was jolted awake early Saturday morning by a natural gas explosion and giant fireball down the highway, she wondered if the apocalypse was upon her.
"Wow, is the end of the world or something?" she said from her farmhouse near Otterburne, located about 30 minutes south of Winnipeg.
The mother of four young children quickly roused her husband, Feterly, and while they were taking in the spectacle from their kitchen window, the power went out.
"I was half-asleep but I was in shock. When my husband looked out the window, he was in shock, too," she said, noting her kids -- Debby, 7, Anndy, 6, Tommy, 4, Larry 2 -- slept through the whole ordeal.
They tried calling 911 but got a busy signal and when they rang the police, nobody answered.
They wondered whether they should prepare to evacuate but once police cruisers were spotted on the highway, they decided to stay put until they got a knock on the door. They didn’t.
While his wife grabbed her camera and started snapping a few pictures, Feterly Wiebe quickly ran out to his barn to start his generator so he could keep his 9,000 chickens warm.
"If the barn goes cold, we would have had mortality with the birds," he said.
From Manitoba Hydro:
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on January 25 an explosion and fire occurred on a TransCanada Pipeline between Otterburne and Hwy 59. As a result of the explosion, natural gas supply may be affected in the RMs of Hanover, Ritchot and De Salaberry, including:
TransCanada PipeLine is still assessing the damage and cannot provide an estimated restoration time. Please prepare for an extended outage.
We will post updated information on this page, as well as through Facebook (open new window) and Twitter (open new window), as it become available.
Use only approved space heaters and where possible conserve use of electricity. What to do during a natural gas disruption.
If you smell natural gas or have a natural gas emergency.
For electric and natural gas emergencies call:
Updated on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:35 AM CST: Adds video
9:28 AM: Adds Storify.
1:23 PM: Updates with complete writethru
1:27 PM: adds photos
2:37 PM: Adds information from Manitoba Hydro
7:23 PM: Changes photo.
8:16 PM: Adds slideshow.
9:39 PM: Adds update from RCMP.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Artifacts from First World War passed down through generations
The light touch: Traffic signals improving, but still lots of work to do
Police mum on standoff death
SNAFU rugby tournament an August tradition — and there's no telling what goes on
First Nation's chief urged to quit over bonus
Gord Steeves proposes selling police HQ and library parkade to raise cash for road repair
Death incites anger
Ducks to retire Selanne's No. 8 jersey
Manitoba weightlifter Marie-Josée Arès-Pilon wins bronze at Glasgow games
Water testing shows beaches are safe for the August long weekend
Chad Posthumus, former River East Kodiak, signs with Japanese basketball team
Goldeyes baseman Casey Haerther named American Association player of the month
Jets sign free-agent Galiardi
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in Oakbank
Israel pushes deeper in Gaza after soldier seized
US aid workers headed to Atlanta for Ebola care
Battle royal over North End home
Ukraine: Body parts retrieved at jet crash site
Via Rail, CN trains collide east of Kingston
Hackers 'constantly probing' federal computers
Loonie lower, jobs data misses expectations
Robert Kennedy Jr. to marry actress Cheryl Hines
Yellowstone grizzly, people run-ins drop in 2013
Ebola moving faster than control efforts
Error made by dispatcher in professor shooting
'Real Housewife' files defence in libel suit
Obama, Putin discuss Ukraine, missile treaty
Another nail-biter for Blue
Ottawa hails new rail grain shipping rules
Vogiatzakis would give portion of business tax revenue to development group
Accused to stand trial in Saunders death
Missing teen last seen in Tyndall Park area
Girl, 12, not competent for trial in stabbing
Colorado panel considers new look for edible pot
Silva says injured leg is at 95 per cent
Mayoral candidate wants review of road safety
Procter & Gamble to slim down product lineup
High court warns against police stings
Garcia shoots 61 to take Firestone lead
Reopening of major runway bonus for airport, residents