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Excavator sinks cab-deep in sea ice off Canada's eastern Arctic

CBC NewsEye on the Arctic

A heavy equipment driver in the community of Pond Inlet, in Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, had a close call recently when his machine fell through the sea ice and sank up to its cab.

No one was injured in the incident.

Mayor Jaykolasie Killiktee said there's a lot of rough ice near the beach making it difficult for hunters on boats or snowmobiles to move around in the bay or on shore. He said a heavy equipment operator was asked to help out by pushing snow and ice away from the shoreline.

"We at the hamlet discussed removing the rough ice ... but I think there was a misunderstanding so that's why the bulldozer fell in salt water," he said in Inuktitut.

"I didn't watch it when it happened but I went there later and no one was injured. We're grateful for that."

Killiktee said a few front-end loaders were able to pull the machine out.

A hamlet mechanic is currently working on the machine, and it's expected to be salvageable.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.