Man believed to have drowned in Canada’s Northwest Territories after vehicle falls through ice

Residents of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. say a man died after a vehicle crashed through the ice in the community’s harbour, pictured here in a 2011 photo. (Philippe Morin/CBC )RCMP investigating after vehicle fell through ice

A man is believed to have drowned after a heavy vehicle went through the ice in the Arctic community of Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Residents spotted a hole in the ice on the harbour over the weekend. They confirmed to CBC News that a man from the community is missing and presumed to have died.

They believe he was driving a type of construction vehicle when it crashed through the ice.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said there was a set of vehicle marks leading to the hole in the ice.

Police said the tracks resembled those of a snow cat, a type of vehicle that is designed to travel on snow and has a set of tracks instead of wheels.

Police said they have not confirmed who owns the vehicle, or what kind of work it was doing.

The Workers Compensation Board in Yellowknife confirmed there was a fatality. They received a call Friday night and over the weekend, two officers travelled to the community to investigate whether safety precautions were being followed.

A police dive team is preparing to search the harbour tonight and investigate what happened.

Cpl. Barry Ledoux said police hope to recover the body and will have more details about what happened after they examine the scene.

Sea ice has been at an all-time low this fall, breaking a record previously set in 2007. Environment Canada said it’s been warmer than average in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. by several degrees.

The ice road connecting Tuktoyaktuk to the town of Inuvik, Northwest Territories usually opens in late December.

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