3 arrested after trespassing on pipeline construction site in Carlton County

Three people were arrested Monday after they trespassed on the pipeline construction site in Carlton County, Minnesota.

According to the sheriff's office, at about 3:30 p.m. Monday, tribal officers from the Fond du Lac Police Department and deputies from the Carlton County Sheriff's Office responded to the area of Highway 210 and Hohensee Road on a report of people trespassing on a construction site in that area.

Authorities said about a dozen protesters got into the construction area of the pipeline, and one man got onto a pipe as it was being lowered into a trench filled with water. 

Due to the dangers of the situation, local fire departments were called to help, and an ambulance responded to the scene as a precaution. However, police said two protesters - identified as men from out of state - blocked the ambulance's access to the scene. They were arrested on site.

By 10:30 pm, the one remaining suspect, a 31-year-old man, was taken into custody unharmed.

The Northern Lights Task Force, comprised of law enforcement from several northern Minnesota counties, released a statement after the incident:

"In recent weeks, protesters have decided to enter into the trench area of the pipeline causing potential dangers to the workers, the protesters and possible rescue personnel.
Entering into trenches can be exceptionally unsafe.Trenches can collapse quickly and without warning. There are approximately 25 deaths per year in the United States from trench incidents. Many of these are avoidable.
Many of these deaths are caused by respiratory failure, broken bones and severe damage to internal organs. The damage is caused by the force of the dirt/rocks collapsing on the person. In fact, a person buried in just 18 inches of soil will have up to 3,000 pounds of force exerted onto their bodies.  
The likelihood of death is amplified as the rescue of people in trench incidents is usually very protracted. Specialty rescue teams are utilized for these types of incidents due to the high level of danger.  
The Northern Lights Task Force continues to strongly encourage people to utilize safe areas in the exercise of their 1st Amendment Rights."