A group of approximately 20 axe-wielding individuals attacked a Coastal GasLink work site where they violently engaged with employees, security and police officers. One RCMP officer was reportedly injured in the arson attack.
A statement from RCMP reads:
Houston RCMP is presently investigating an incident where individuals allegedly engaged in a violent confrontation with employees of Coastal GasLink, and with attending police officers along the Morice River Forest Service Road near Houston, BC.
On Thursday, February 17, 2022, shortly after midnight, Houston RCMP was called to the Marten Forest Service Road (FSR) after Coastal Gas Link (CGL) security reported acts of violence at their work site.
It was reported approximately 20 people, some armed with axes, were attacking security guards and smashing their vehicle windows. It was initially reported that some CGL employees were trapped, but all had managed to safely leave the area.
Upon police attendance at the 41 km mark, the roadway had been blocked with downed trees, tar covered stumps, wire, boards with spikes in them, and fires had been lit throughout the debris. As police worked their way through the debris and traps, several people threw smoke bombs and fire lit sticks at the police, injuring one officer.
At the 43 km mark, an old school bus blocked the road. No one was located in this area and with the assistance of CGL, the bus was cleared from the road and police continued on.
When police arrived at the drill pad at the 63 km mark, they found significant damage had been done to heavy machinery, fencing, and portable buildings. Police did not encounter any further blockades or protestors as they made their way to the drill pad nor did they locate anyone at the site. The cost of damage done is extensive as seen in the photos.
"This is a very troubling escalation in violent criminal activity that could have resulted in serious injury or death. This was a calculated and organized violent attack that left its victims shaken and a multimillion dollar path of destruction," Chief Superintendent Warren Brown, North District Commander said.
"While we respect everyone’s right to peacefully protest in Canada, we cannot tolerate this type of extreme violence and intimidation. Our investigators will work tirelessly to identify the culprits and hold them accountable for their actions."
"The protection of people and the environment is paramount and we are taking a number of actions to address this incident. RCMP were called to the scene, and we understand a criminal investigation is underway. On behalf of our workers, we encourage a full investigation of those involved in the violent attack. The company is also asking for anyone with information about the attack to contact the RCMP," read a statement from Coastal GasLink.
The RCMP is asking the public for assistance about the incident. If you have any information, please contact Houston RCMP at 250-845-2204.
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