A civilian contractor was injured Wednesday at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka when a biomass boiler exploded in the station’s main hangar. This incident happened about 12:30 p.m. The injured man was transported by local EMS to the hospital.
Commanding officer Ward Sandlin said Air Station Sitka personnel and local authorities are working with investigators to determine the cause of the explosion. The station’s other two biomass boilers have been shut down pending the results of the investigation.
Air Station Sitka is the first base in the Coast Guard to convert to the biomass system, which burns wood pellets instead of fuel oil.
Wednesday’s incident comes less than a week after U.S. Senator Mark Begich toured the boiler and praised the project. Air Station Sitka was testing the new wood pellet system, and hoped to have it fully operational by November 1st.
- Alaska’s oldest Native organizations are trying to attract younger members. That and other issues are on the table at the ANB-ANS Grand Camp Convention Oct. 5-8.
- As the air gets colder and the days shorter, the Skagway tourism season is coming to a close. Overall, tourism staff says this summer was a success. The last cruise ship of the season has come and gone and shop owners around Skagway are preparing for winter, cleaning up and closing their doors. The streets that were recently busy with visitors are quieting down.
- These are the days when a president turns to thoughts of legacy. As the months tick down on this Administration, President Obama has created a marine national monument off new England and last month vastly expanded one near Hawaii. Alaska interest groups are working to get his attention, too. Some want him to take bold action in the 49th State before he leaves office, and others are urging him to resist those calls.
- Homer Electric Association held an informational meeting on September 28 to answer questions about the upcoming vote on deregulation. The meeting, which was held at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, attracted more than 100 people. The overwhelming majority were HEA customers who expressed concerns about the consequences of deregulation.