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Line 3 pipeline worker rescued after being trapped underwater

It happened in Hubbard County, northwestern Minnesota.
Enbridge Line 3

A section of the Enbridge Line 3 project in northern Minnesota became the site of a rescue operation after a harrowing accident this weekend.

On Saturday in Hubbard County, a piece of heavy machinery rolled into some water and became fully submerged, trapping the operator inside the vehicle's cab. 

According to a report from iNewz.TV, the vehicle's shatterproof plexiglass windows made it difficult for workers to free the victim, forcing them to break a nearby beaver dam in order to lower the water level inside the cab.

The move bought the man some time, but he was quickly becoming "hypothermic" due to the subfreezing temperature of the water, according to the iNews.TV report.

An Enbridge statement to BMTN said: "We can confirm there was incident Saturday February 6 involving an excavator operator in Hubbard County. The worker was transported to a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota where he was treated and released. The incident is under investigation.

"Safety is our first priority for the thousands workers who are currently replacing Line 3 on construction sites spread across the more than 330 mile route."

The incident occurred near a wetland by LaSalle Creek.

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.

Last week, 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.

The Line 3 Media Collective, a group of self-described "water protectors" who oppose the pipeline, issued a news release calling the Hubbard County rescue "the latest in a series of accidents threatening the lives of workers on the Line 3 project."

An Enbridge spokesperson issued the following statement to In a BringMeTheNews: 

We can confirm there was incident Saturday February 6 involving an excavator operator in Hubbard County. The worker was transported to a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota where he was treated and released. The incident is under investigation. Safety is our first priority for the thousands workers who are currently replacing Line 3 on construction sites spread across the more than 330 mile route.

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