WSDOT worker buried under avalanche for five hours

WSDOT worker buried under avalanche for five hours

Credit: WSDOT

The top of a bulldozer is seen after it was hit by a natural avalanche along State Route 410 at Chinook Pass, April 24, 2014. The operator of the bulldozer survived inside the cab for five hours.

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on April 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

A Washington State Department of Transportation worker was rescued after being trapped in his bulldozer under a natural avalanche for several hours Thursday.

WSDOT says the worker was on a crew doing routine snow clearing on State Route 410 at Chinook Pass when the avalanche happened around 10 a.m. The worker radioed for help when the snow covered the bulldozer to the top of the cab.

Avalanche crews were able to rescue the operator after about five hours.

"A quicker rescue was possible, but only with an increased risk. Cool heads, communication, good training and the right equipment were important to this rescue operation," said Wayne Frudd, WSDOT safety manager.

WSDOT hopes to reopen Chinook Pass by Memorial Day weekend.

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