October 22, 2016 7:02 pm

Protesters break into Muskrat Falls hydro site in Labrador, form blockade outside

The construction site of the hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador is seen on July 14, 2015. Nalcor Energy says around 50 protesters have broken into the site.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
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Nalcor Energy says around 50 protesters have broken into the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric site in Labrador.

Nalcor spokeswoman Karen O’Neill says protesters and several vehicles breached the main gate Saturday afternoon.

She says a blockade of around 150 people outside the gate has obstructed access to the work site near Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

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READ MORE: Dozens protest at NL legislature over Muskrat Falls hydro project

Protesters have blocked access to the site over the last week, despite a court injunction that led to nine arrests Monday.

The actions are in response to Nalcor’s confirmation that methylmercury levels are expected to rise in the reservoir created by construction of the project, raising health concerns.

Nalcor has said flooding is to begin later this month, though the company tweeted Saturday it won’t occur this weekend.

READ MORE: ‘Not the right choice’: Muskrat Falls estimate surpasses $11 billion

O’Neill says Nalcor is working to secure the site and protect the safety of “people, facilities and equipment.”

The RCMP announced Saturday that the main highway to Muskrat Falls was closed.

Police confirmed the closure was linked to the protests and cited public safety concerns.

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