2018 Enbridge pipeline explosion caused by undetected cracking, says regulator

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada has found that undetected stress corrosion cracking led to the 2018 Enbridge pipeline rupture that resulted in a fire near Prince George.

The Oct. 9 incident saw a 91-centimetre pipe rupture about 13 kilometres northeast of the city.

No one was injured in the blast, but it did force the evacuation of about 125 people within a two-kilometre radius.

The outage led to province-wide natural gas shortages and conservation efforts through the winter.

Deficiencies in predicting the extent of the cracking — as well as a deferred inspection — allowed the issue to go undetected, the TSB said.

“This allowed soil moisture to come into contact with the pipe surface, leading to corrosion and cracking,” said the TSB.

“Growing and merging over time, the cracks reduced the load-bearing capacity of the pipeline at normal operating pressures.”

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