Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Six attacks on natural gas pipelines
July 6, 2009 – (UPI) - DAWSON CREEK, British Columbia, A series of bombings of natural gas pipelines in northeastern British Columbia in Canada are "domestic terrorism," authorities said. The first attack was reported in early October. This past weekend, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed a sixth bombing caused a leak in an EnCana Corp. line south of Dawson Creek, British Columbia. No one has been injured in the bombings, but they have caused leaks that could prove hazardous, authorities said. Safety measures led to a shutting of valves once a pressure drop was noted shortly following the latest attack, an EnCana release said. "These are bombings," RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said. "It's certainly nothing short of domestic terrorism." EnCana in January offered a $500,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible for bombings of company pipelines near Dawson Creek. "We take the bombings of our facilities very seriously. The safety of our workers and the people who live in the communities where we operate is of paramount importance. That's why we are putting up this reward to help stop these bombings and end the threat that they pose to people in the Dawson Creek area," Mike Graham, EnCana executive vice president, said in a company release. The RCMP said four bombings occurred from last October to January. There have been two attacks reported this month, with the latest occurring between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday. It wasn't far from the site of a bombing last Wednesday. An EnCana release Saturday said repair crews working the site of the Wednesday damage about 5 miles south of Dawson Creek heard a loud noise. When they investigated they discovered a leak in a 12-inch pipeline. "The pipeline leak also appears to be have been caused by an explosion," the company release stated. "The elements of this incident thus far, are consistent with the previous blast sites and the RCMP considers this latest bombing linked to the others," Moskaluk said in a statement. "This does change the dynamics of the events in certain terms, the main being our heightened concern for public safety, given that this explosion went off in close proximity of working crews and within a couple of kilometers of a populated rural area." Moskaluk said investigators were able to reach the scene of Saturday's blast quickly, allowing for better opportunities for "fresh" evidence gathering. Before Moskaluk used the "terrorism" term, authorities had characterized the attacks as "vandalism." The attacks began about the time an anonymous letter was sent to British Columbia media demanding oil and natural gas operations cease. It referred to the companies working the resources as "terrorists" that were "endangering our families with crazy expansion of deadly gas wells." "Whoever is responsible for these bombings has to be stopped before someone gets hurt. We hope this reward will encourage anyone who has knowledge of those responsible for the bombings to come forward and help put an end to these dangerous attacks that threaten the well-being of our staff, those who work for us and the residents and communities in the Dawson Creek area," Graham said in January. Investigators said they believe the person responsible lives in the area of the attacks and other residents may know who is carrying out the bombings.
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