Crews begin pulling truck from ice near Deline, N.W.T.

Crew members started work Thursday to remove a fuel tanker from the ice on Great Bear Lake about three kilometres from Deline, N.W.T.

Detour road around truck could open to other fuel haulers Saturday, says Department of Transportation

A fuel tanker went through the ice on the Deline access road March 5. Crews are now working to extract the truck. (Environment and Natural Resources)

Crew members started work Thursday to remove a fuel tanker from the ice on Great Bear Lake about three kilometres from Deline, N.W.T.

The Bassett Petroleum truck broke through the ice on March 5 on its way to deliver fuel to the community. The fuel was drained from the truck Monday night. 

"I'd say I'll get a very good update by last light tonight as to how they're coming along," said Kevin McLeod, director of highways for the N.W.T.'s Department of Transportation, early Friday afternoon.

"It's a very slow and deliberate process."

On Friday, "they cut the ice around the truck, which was a very delicate operation of course, and they have attached the truck to a cable and they are lifting it up as we speak. And then they'll drag it out of the water."

Asked if the work will be completed by the end of Friday, McLeod replied, "I'm optimistic they'll get proceeding. But I've been involved in many of these things and anything can happen. We must be prepared for it."

The community is expecting 70 more truckloads of fuel. McLeod said a detour road around the truck could be opened to other fuel-carrying trucks "as early as Saturday."

As for whether the incident will shorten the ice crossing's operating window this year — it typically closes during the last week of March or the first week of April — McLeod said,  "That's strictly up to mother nature."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.