Fracking protesters storm rig

Second demo
Second demo
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Two protesters have been arrested after descending on a fracking rig.

The controversial site, near Hesketh Bank, was shut by Cuadrilla Resources after campaigners from Bristol stormed the drilling rig for the second time.

Three of the climate justice campaigners, from Bristol Rising Tide, scaled the equipment at around 7.30am on Thursday morning.

A man and a 40-year-old woman, of no fixed address, have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and are currently in custody.

Fracking, which sees gallons of water pumped into the ground to unlock shale gas reserves, has been linked to tremors on the Fylde coast.

Cuadrilla Resources has six test sites across the county including at Singleton, Westby, Preese Hall in Weeton and the one between Hesketh Bank and Banks.

The campaigners, who first scaled the huge rig last month, are concerned the technique will be used in other areas of the country.

Protester Paul Williams said: “People simply aren’t going to stand by and let this crazy extreme sneak into our landscape.”

The company said it prevented a further five protesters from reaching the equipment.

Police are at the scene and are negotiating with protesters.

A spokesman for the company said: “We have nothing to hide about our operations and welcome open dialogue with local people.

“We have shown over 100 people around our operational sites over the last year, including 60 local people around the Banks site.

“We have been involved in events attended by many hundreds of people to discuss our work.

“But the fact is, these protesters are not local, have not bothered to participate in dialogue and are using up considerable amounts of police time that would be better employed elsewhere in the community.”

A police spokesman said: “Five protesters gained entry to the Cuadrilla gas drilling site in Banks.

“Three people climbed up a rig on the site, where they currently remain, and two people have been arrested.

“Police are in attendance and a cordon has been put in place. We are liaising with the site owners and the protesters to bring about a peaceful resolution.”