Truck breaks through ice
Photo by Trent Flett/CBC News

Manitoba man escapes unscathed after truck breaks through ice

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A man escaped unharmed after his truck broke through an ice road near Split Lake, Manitoba. His truck, however, isn’t so lucky.

Construction worker Robert Bland was working on a winter road in the region, when he became short of supplies to fix his bulldozer. The ice road he decided to take to the remote northern community isn’t officially open, but he took his chances anyway.

Split Lake band constable Trent Flett  said they received calls at the station on Wednesday afternoon, when someone spotted the half-ton partially submerged.

Photo by Trent Flett/CBC News

“He came to a sudden stop and then half the vehicle went inside [the water] and he had to jump out through the side windows,” Flett told CBC News. After pulling himself out, Bland managed to walk to shore.

Wearing soaking wet ski pants and boots, he received a ride home to York Landing with Flett, who says it was close to minus 40 degrees Celsius with the wind chill that day.

Bland is now safe and sound, but the same can’t be said for his truck. Pulling it out of the water would require a front-end loader, and after what happened to Bland’s vehicle, it’s clear that the ice isn’t thick enough for that. Instead, the community is going to try to pull it out using chainsaws and augers—just not until the ice is a little thicker.

It’s the potential for a scene like this that keeps people on the edge of their seats while watching the hit TV show Ice Road Truckers. Luckily, this is an isolated incident.

“This is the first incident in several years,” Flett told CBC. He says the milder-than-normal weather has delayed the winter road’s opening this year. “People are entering at their own risk. We put barricades up already and they still try it.”

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