FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A 72-year-old North Pole man crossing a frozen pond on a bulldozer died when the machine broke through the ice and sank.
Donald Kiehl was part of a group moving equipment east of Cantwell on Friday night. The crew was headed to Stephan Lake Lodge, about 140 miles north of Anchorage, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://bit.ly/12ns80I ).
The lodge has a contract for support work on the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project, which would put a dam across the Susitna River.
The pond was between Gold Creek and Stephan Lake.
The crew was crossing a low mountain at about 5:30 p.m. when the D6 Caterpillar driven by Kiehl broke through ice on an alpine lake and sank, troopers said.
Workers pulled Kiehl from the water but could not revive him.
A helicopter operating in the area transported troopers to the site.
No foul play was suspected, troopers said. The state medical examiner will schedule an autopsy.
According to the Alaska Energy Authority, about 180 people will be working in the field this summer on studies or other work for the proposed hydroelectric project.
Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com