Skip to main content
Publish date:

MN pipeline protest site evacuated over a 'suspicious device'

It happened Friday afternoon in Carlton County.
Enbridge Line 3

The ongoing protests against the Line 3 oil pipeline in northern Minnesota took a dramatic turn Friday over what appeared to be a potential bomb threat. 

Early in the afternoon in Carlton County, as people began dispersing from the protest site following the arrival of the Fond Du Lac Police Department, authorities received a 911 call reporting that "three people had thrown suspicious packages out and left the area," a news release from the local sheriff said. 

The release indicates that police originally responded to the scene due to "protest activity blocking Ditchbank Road." 

According to a later update from the sheriff (below), the bomb squad was called to investigate a "suspicious device," which was subsequently determined not to be an explosive. 

Nonetheless, the investigation resulted in the evacuation of 40 homes within a half-mile radius. All residents have been given the all-clear to return home.

There's no word on what the "device" turned out to be. 

Enbridge, the energy company building the pipeline, shut down operations in the area "out of an abundance of caution," per the Star Tribune. 

As the paper notes, the company also called out the protesters in a statement, saying that they "need to know actions that put people in harm's way will be prosecuted."

A group involved in Friday's protest, Camp Migizi, said the following in a Facebook post the same day:

Peaceful protests are not illegal. There are no explosives. Law enforcement induced hysteria is being used to manipulate the masses to curt resistance. The only immediate danger is the wellbeing of the rice, and the water."

Line 3, which starts in Canada and runs through Wisconsin, is undergoing a major replacement project in Minnesota. It's been a source of controversy among environmental activists as well as Native American groups, leading to protests as well as arrests.

Earlier this month, three such protesters were arrested at a Line 3 site in Carlton County, with one reportedly sitting inside a length of pipe for hours in order to stop work on the project.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

unsplash football helmet ground

Judge upholds star QBs suspension for state championship game

Sam Backer, of Chatfield Senior High, won't be allowed to play in Friday's title game.

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.


Enbridge Line 3

Line 3 pipeline worker rescued after being trapped underwater

It happened in Hubbard County, northwestern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 10.52.37 AM

More arrests in Line 3 protests; one jumped onto pipe being lowered into trench

The protests in Carlton County are just the latest in demonstrations against the project.

jane fonda line 3

Jane Fonda in MN to join in protests of Line 3 pipeline

Construction on the Minnesota portion of the pipeline began in December.

Line 3 protesters at State Fair.

Line 3 protesters block entrance to DFL booth at MN State Fair

This coincided with a demonstration at the state capitol.

Line 3 protest at Walz event

Line 3 protesters disrupt, shut down Gov. Walz speech

Walz left the Alexandria fundraising event early.

Line 3 protest

Line 3 activists win restraining order against Hubbard Co. sheriff

The dispute is over a local property used by protesters.

Enbridge Line 3

7 arrested in Line 3 pipeline protest in St. Louis County

The protests were the latest in a series of demonstrations against the pipeline.

A piece of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest is going to the Smithsonian

It'll be in an exhibit about relations between the U.S. and Native Americans.