Dakota Access protester fights to save arm after explosion

Oil pipeline protest
Law enforcement and protesters clash near the site of the Dakota Access pipeline on Sunday.
Morton County Sheriff's Department via AP

The father of a 21-year-old woman seriously injured Monday at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in North Dakota says doctors don't know if they will be able to save her arm.

Wayne Wilansky said his daughter, Sophia Wilansky, who lives in New York and is currently at Hennepin County Medical Center, will likely undergo multiple surgeries.

Wayne Wilansky said Sophia told him she was hit by a concussion grenade. The force of the explosion, he added, nearly took off her arm.

"They took shrapnel out of her arm so it's pretty clear that is a grenade and they're going to save that shrapnel. It's going to stay in pathology until it's needed," he said. "There's proof. There's evidence that our government is throwing grenades at our people who are there peacefully protesting."

Morton County, N.D., Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said during a press conference Monday there was an explosion near protesters. He said he didn't know what caused it but said it did not come from a law enforcement officer.

His office suggested the explosion might have been caused by small propane tanks that authorities said protesters had rigged to explode, the Associated Press reported.

Volume Button
Now Listening To Livestream
MPR News logo
On Air
MPR News