The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

April 15, 2013

Boy falls into Alaskan glacier hole, feared dead

Crevasse believed to be 200 feet deep

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Climbers descended into an estimated 200-foot-deep crevasse on an Alaska glacier to reach a 9-year-old boy, who is feared dead after crashing his snowmobile.

Investigators believe the boy is under the machine in deep snow in the hole, Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

She said that crews were on the scene late Sunday night and would attempt a recovery.

The climbers spotted the snowmobile driven by Shjon Brown of Fairbanks.

Peters said she didn't have further details of the recovery effort.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/117V7nz) reported that the boy was with his father Saturday riding in the Hoodoo Mountains off the Richardson Highway between Delta Junction and Glennallen.

They were about five miles northwest of the Arctic Man Classic, a race involving snowmobiles and skiers or snowboarders.

The father took a break to watch from a hillside. He told troopers that Shjon, pronounced Shawn, rode around a small mound and did not reappear. His father went to investigate and saw the crevasse.

The hole was reported as a "moulin," a hole formed when water of the glacier surface erodes the ice.

The boy was wearing a helmet and goggles.

Climbers from North American Outdoor Institute and an emergency room doctor reached the bottom of the crevasse.

A climber spotted the boy's goggles and helmet and the partially visible snowmobile.

Personnel from the Army's Black Rapids high angle rescue team also responded.

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