Dakota Access pipeline equipment fire called arson

Construction equipment was damaged in a fire at a Dakota Access pipeline construction site in Reasnor, Iowa. A preliminary investigation pointed to arson as the cause. Screenshot from KDSM-TV, Des Moines, Iowa

REASNOR , Iowa, Oct. 18 (UPI) — Authorities said arson is the likely cause of an Iowa fire that caused about $2 million in damage to Dakota Access oil pipeline construction equipment.

The Jasper County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office and local fire departments responded to a fire Saturday in the town of Reasnor where bulldozers and an excavator were ablaze. A preliminary investigation that included the FBI and the Iowa Fire Marshal found that the fires were intentionally set. It was at the same location that equipment was damaged in an Aug. 1 fire, which police suspect was started by vandals.

Dakota Access LLC, the company constructing the controversial, 1,172-mile pipeline across four states, offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Saturday’s incident. The pipeline will connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Ill.

A protest against the pipeline in North Dakota turned violent last month, and several of the approximately 800 demonstrators said they were attacked with mace or bitten by guard dogs. The rally was organized after it was noted the pipeline traverses Native American graves and sacred sites.

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