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TransCanada Pipeline Rupture Prompts Evacuation Of Benton Harbor

TransCanada may have to take a break from trying to convince Canadians and Americans its Keystone XL and Energy East pipelines are safe in order to deal with some pipeline spills.

More than 500 residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, were forced to leave their homes in the early hours of Tuesday morning for 10 to 12 hours after authorities discovered a leak on a TransCanada gas pipeline in the area, WSBT TV reports.

Police cordoned off a one-square-mile area rural area east of the town for 10 to 12 hours before allowing residents to return home.

There was no word on how much gas may have spilled, or any damage caused.

By the Council of Canadians’ count, this is the third pipeline leak TransCanada has experienced in the past nine months.

TransCanada suffered a gas pipeline explosion in Otterburne, Man., in January, and another gas pipeline ruptured in Rocky Mountain House, Alta., in February.

“TransCanada is seeking permission to convert parts of the same pipeline that failed in Otterburne to carry diluted bitumen as part of their Energy East pipeline project from Alberta to New Brunswick,” the Council of Canadians, which is known for opposing energy industry projects, said on its blog Tuesday.

TransCanada has apologized for the “inconvenience” caused by the Benton Harbor incident, and has set up an information centre for concerned residents.

Local news sources say it could be months before the cause of the rupture is known.

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