MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) - A protester who climbed into an Enbridge oil pipeline near Marshall Monday morning exited the pipe about 10 hours later.
Chris Wahmoff crawled several feet into the 36-inch pipe around 7 a.m. Monday -- also his 35th birthday. The pipe he was in is part of the 6B pipeline replacement effort, which he was protesting, and is located near I-69 and Division Drive.
Wahmoff exited the pipeline around 5 p.m. Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton said his demeanor was calm and he seemed healthy. He was then taken to a local hospital to be checked.
Wahmoff was booked into the Calhoun County jail Monday evening, but Saxton said it's not yet certain what charges he will face.
"We're still having conversations with the prosecutor's office to see what charges he's willing to move forward with," Saxton said.
In the morning, Wahmoff said he had taken enough food and water into the pipeline to last for three days. The odor in the pipeline had the potential to make him sick, the sheriff's office said. Wahmoff told emergency crews earlier Monday that he would come out at 5 p.m. if he wasn't overcome by the odor first. Crews had to pipe in fresh air to help him breathe, the sheriff's office said.
The sheriff's department used a camera to check the inside of the pipe after Wahmoff exited it. He said Enbridge will check the integrity of the pipe in the coming days.
A group of protesters at the site wants Enbridge Inc. to stop construction on a new line. The protesters say it endangers public health, considering the Canadian company was responsible for a 2010 pipeline rupture that spilled more than 800,000 gallons of oil into an area river, according to the Associated Press.
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