Update 9:45 p.m.
A tourist train derailed Wednesday afternoon north of Skagway, and initial reports suggest some passengers received minor injuries.
White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad President John Finlayson says the company is investigating the cause of the derailment. He told KHNS radio that he did not want to comment on any injuries while passengers were being treated. The company runs scenic train tours between Skagway and Carcross, Yukon.
Coast Guard Spokesman Kip Wadlow says Air Station Sitka helicopters were put on standby to assist, but were not called out. Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau was notified and went into incident command about 3:45 p.m., according to spokesman Jim Strader. Shortly before 4:30 p.m., Strader says Bartlett received notification to stand down.
Skagway municipal officials and the Skagway fire and police departments referred all questions about the incident to White Pass.
Skagway Tourism Director Buckwheat Donahue says he was told the incident took place near Summit Lake along the border with Canada. He also says he was told by White Pass representatives that trains were cancelled the rest the day on Wednesday and possibly part of Thursday.
The railroad was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush. Now it serves as one of Skagway’s primary scenic attractions for visitors.
Original post 5 p.m. Wednesday
A White Pass & Yukon Route tourist train derailed north of Skagway Wednesday afternoon, though early reports suggest there were no serious injuries.
Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau was notified and went into incident command about 3:45 p.m., according to spokesman Jim Strader. He says the initial report indicated about 25 injured people, but that was soon downgraded and the hospital was told to expect between nine and 12 mobile, noncritical victims. Shortly before 4:30 p.m., Strader says BRH received notification to stand down.
Coast Guard Spokesman Kip Wadlow says early reports suggested that nine people were ejected from the train.
According to Wadlow, Airlift Northwest is transporting medical personnel to the scene while Air Station Sitka and Guardian Flight were placed on standby.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details.
- This week, 88 Energy announced they've started setting up a rig on the North Slope to drill a second well for Project Icewine. According to a recent 88 Energy presentation, the company thinks its leases may hold between 1.4 and 3.6 billion barrels of oil.
- The state is fining oil and gas company Hilcorp an additional $160,000 for using nitrogen without permission while working on two wells in 2015 -- the same practice that nearly killed three North Slope workers.
- Roughly 6,000 state workers were unable to log in to their computers, affecting two in five executive branch workers.
- The totem pole is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. The carved art form showcases clan stories and family crests in museums around the world. After more than 30 years in the Anchorage Museum, a century-old pole from Southeast has made it back to Sitka, where curators are prepping a permanent home.