High temperatures sink vehicles traveling ice roads in Western Alaska

A season of danger on the Kuskokwim ice road and its branches isn’t over yet.

Two pickup trucks used by construction crews working on a water and sewer project in the village of Kwethluk on Monday sank through slushy ice on the Kwethluk River, a tributary to the main Kuskokwim River, said the project superintendent to Alaska Dispatch News. Then the small bulldozer that was being used to pull one out crashed through as well.

All of the people got out of the vehicles safely, said Max Olick, Kwethluk’s longtime village public safety officer. The village is upriver from Bethel, the Western Alaska hub.