A natural gas pipeline in western Canada was bombed Saturday for the second time in four days and the sixth time in nine months, officials said.
The bombing of the EnCana pipeline near Pouce Coupe in northern British Columbia was being investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, The Province reported.
Someone living near the pipeline called police between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday to report hearing a loud bang, investigators said. The company said employees were already nearby repairing damage from Wednesday’s bombing, which was about half a mile away.
EnCana said the explosion Saturday caused a leak.
“These attacks aren’t just against EnCana, they are against the entire community,” Rhona DelFrari, a spokeswoman for EnCana, said. “We are becoming increasingly frustrated by this because it’s becoming a risk to the public.”
Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, an RCMP spokesman, said two additional officers have been added to the force in Dawsons Creek because of the explosions. But he said the most recent blasts mean police are getting more tips from the public.
“We are dealing with domestic terrorism,” Moskaluk said. “This is an attack on a critical infrastructure.”
Here is some background from when the 2nd bomb went off:
Not acts of terrorism: RCMP
Investigators are treating the explosions as acts of vandalism, not terrorism, Shields said.
“Under the Criminal Code, it would be characterized as mischief, which is an intentional vandalism. We don’t want to characterize this as terrorism. They were very isolated locations and there would seem there was no intent to hurt people,” he said.
But David Harris, a security consultant and former strategist with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, told CBC News the second explosion shows it’s time to start looking at a political motive and to do more to protect Canada’s critical infrastructure.
Last week, a handwritten letter arrived at a newspaper in Dawson Creek calling EnCana and other energy companies “terrorists” for expanding “deadly” gas wells. The letter gave the firms a deadline to shut down operations.
Dan Przybylski, the publisher of Dawson Creek Daily News, which received the letter, said many people in the community have expressed concerns about the oil and gas activity in the area and many people living near the pipelines are nervous about their safety.