Deputies responded to a pipeline monitoring station near Hedrick. Deputies say a vandal or vandals cut through a chain link fence and attempted to damage the pipeline.
The vandal reportedly used a blowtorch to attempt to cut through the thick sides of the line. The attempt failed as the vandals were only able to leave burn marks on the pipeline and failed to cause any real damage. Law enforcement couldn’t comment on any leads but they say the incident could be related to other incidents that have been reported since construction began on the pipeline.
The damage is similar in description to incidents reported in march in Mahaska County, Sioux County and in South Dakota. The FBI joined the investigation after similar damage was found in multiple states. No oil leaked from the pipeline and deputies say the public was never in any danger.
Dakota Access increased security near the area and deputies are patrolling near the site more often. The pipeline carries crude oil from North Dakota to a refinery in Illinois. The pipeline began pumping oil in late March.
(By Nick Davis, KBIZ, Ottumwa)