State police searching for suspects after Mountain Valley Pipeline equipment set on fire in Franklin County

Virginia State Police is seeking the public's assistance in identifying those responsible for setting fire to construction equipment being used by the MVP in Franklin Co. (Virginia State Police) (WSLS)

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Virginia State Police is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying those responsible for setting fire to construction equipment being used by the Mountain Valley Pipeline project in Franklin County.

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Police said the fires are believed to have been set around 5 a.m. Thursday on private property in the 800 block of Leaning Oak Road.

We’re told the fires destroyed two pieces of heavy machinery being used to excavate the site.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office responded to the scene to investigate the fires, according to authorities. VSP said at the scene, investigators recovered evidence consistent with homemade incendiary devices, which will be examined forensically by the FBI Laboratory.

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to contact the Virginia State Police at 540-375-9500 or by email. Tips can remain anonymous.

VSP said the FBI and ATF&E are assisting with the ongoing criminal investigation. A HAZMAT clean team also responded to the scene to mitigate environmental damage caused by burnt vehicles and the proximity of a nearby stream.


About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.