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Prince George pipeline explosion not ‘criminal in nature’: RCMP

Click to play video 'Gas line explosion near Prince George not criminal: police' Gas line explosion near Prince George not criminal: police
WATCH: Gas line explosion near Prince George not criminal: police

RCMP say the pipeline explosion near Prince George was not “criminal in nature.”

“After reviewing known information by all stakeholders, there are no indications that the explosion was criminal in nature,” said RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson in a statement.

“The investigation has now been turned over to Transportation Safety Board, with assistance from National Energy Board and Enbridge.”

Globalnews.ca coverage of the Prince George pipeline explosion

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In the wake of the pipeline explosion, which interrupted natural gas deliveries, FortisBC asked customers to cut back on non-essential gas usage.

Doug Stout, FortisBC’s vice-president of market development and external relations, said customers listened.

READ MORE: Prince George pipeline explosion investigation elevated to provincial level

“We saw about a 20 per cent reduction in consumption from what we expected,” he said.

Analysts say about 10 per cent of Western Canada’s daily natural gas output was stranded when Enbridge Inc. halted transport on the 36-inch line that exploded Tuesday as well as its neighbouring 30-inch line.

The National Energy Board allowed Enbridge to restart the smaller line at a lower pressure, but analysts say that still leaves between 600 million and 800 million cubic feet per day of gas without an easy path to market.

READ MORE: B.C. pipeline explosion strands natural gas output, cuts into wellhead prices

As to when the pipeline will be fully up and running, Stout said there is “repair work to do so we’ll see over the next week or so (and) get an idea of the timeline as they work through that.”

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— With files from Erin Ubels and The Canadian Press