North

Empty fuel tanker yanked out of ice near Deline, N.W.T.

The empty fuel tanker that's been half submerged in ice on Great Bear Lake near Deline, N.W.T., for almost a month was finally yanked onto the ice surface Wednesday afternoon.

'It's a relief to get it completed,' says Bassett Petroleum general manager

The tanker that's been stuck in the ice on Great Bear Lake near Deline, N.W.T., was finally yanked out of the ice on Wednesday. (GNWT)

The empty fuel tanker that's been half submerged in ice on Great Bear Lake near Deline, N.W.T., for almost a month was finally yanked onto the ice surface Wednesday afternoon, the territory's Department of Transportation reported.

"It's a relief to get it completed. It's been...not a burden...but it's been in there too long," said Norm Bassett, the general manager of Bassett Petroleum, which owns the truck.

"It's a good feeling to have it out and to know that we left zero footprint on the water."

Just last week, UNESCO added Great Bear Lake to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which recognizes regions of the world for how well they combine economic and environmental concerns

Tanker was empty of fuel when dragged out 

Crews with the Department of Transportation removed about 30,000 litres of fuel from the truck on March 8, three days after the truck fell through the ice just a few kilometres away from its final destination in Deline.

The truck went through the ice on March 5. (Environment and Natural Resources)
Wednesday's removal of the truck brought a tense month to an end.

"The crews worked very hard and have the truck removed from in the ice to above the ice," said Bassett. "It looks like they broke enough ice away, chipping at it with chainsaws and crowbars, that it came straight up."

Bassett said the company hopes to haul the truck to Norman Wells and barge it down to Hay River this summer. The Mackenzie Valley winter road will close at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.

It's still not clear what caused the truck to go through the ice. 

The only other incident of a truck going through ice on a public road that the territorial government has on record is that of a Super B train that broke through the ice at the Fort Providence ice crossing in 2000. 

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