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Explosion and fire rock natural gas pipeline in southern Manitoba

Five homes remain evacuated as TransCanada Piplelines deals with a natural gas pipeline fire about 25 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

TransCanada says it has shut down the Emerson Lateral portion of the Canadian Mainline natural gas pipeline system and is venting the gas. Roads leading to the site have also been closed.

It follows an explosion and fire at a valve site near St. Pierre-Jolys about 1:15 a.m. local time.

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TransCanada says venting the system generates a loud noise that will gradually lessen over several hours. The company says there is no risk to anyone.

It says the fire is steadily decreasing in size and is being closely monitored by its staff and local emergency response crews. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the National Energy Board are also investigating.

There are no reported injuries.

The closed portion of the pipeline system provides Manitoba Hydro with natural gas for several communities in the region.

TransCanada says it's working with the utility to determine if alternative sources of gas are needed.

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