Sophia Wilansky, 21, who was injured at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest, was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis. Doctors there say she faces a long recovery and as many as 20 surgeries.
Protests of the proposed 1,134-mile-long underground pipeline, that would transport oil from the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota to southern Illinois, began last spring in support of the Standing Rock Sioux and other Native American tribes who say the construction of the pipeline jeopardizes their source of clean drinking water and disturbs sacred cultural lands and tribal burial grounds. A previously proposed route that would have placed the pipeline near the cities of Mandan and Bismarck was rejected because of the proximity to municipal water sources in those areas. Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline says water supplies are not in danger.
Differing accounts about the source of the explosion that took place at about 4 a.m. on Monday, November 21. Protestors say it grenades thrown by police, police say it was propane canisters rigged as explosive devices.
Doctors at HCMC removed shrapnel from the wound on Wilansky’s arm, but there is such severe damage to the bone, nerves and muscle that it may have to be amputated. Injuries like this require complex medical treatment over a prolonged period of time.