The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel [AAMT] project received a “Thank You” note from The City of Whittier and a commendation from the mayor for responding to an explosion at the Delong Dock in Whittier, Alaska.

A leaking propane tank exploded on a fixed barge just past midnight on July 7. The resulting fire spread to the pier and a 99-foot commercial fishing vessel with two people onboard; the vessel and barge sank and one person remains unrecovered.

The Whittier Fire Department and firefighters from the neighboring community of Girdwood responded to the blast. The Girdwood emergency responders asked Ferrovial Services’ AAMT project team for additional firefighters and equipment, and to keep the tunnel open and clear.

Due to the tunnel’s remote location, the project site has its own official fire department accredited with the State of Alaska. Of Ferrovial Services’ 28 maintenance technicians, tunnel operators and toll collectors, 25 are also firefighters who make up the AAMT Fire Department.

Whittier-based company employees Robert Rumley, Renner Macaltao, Greg Clifford and Brian Hicks responded as members of the Whittier Fire Department and employees Daniel Gutierrez and Dan Blair responded with the AAMT Fire Department. Project Manager David McCourtney authorized deployment of one of the tunnel’s DOT fire engines, while tunnel operator Scott Rood coordinated emergency vehicle passage in and out of Whittier through the tunnel until the morning shift arrived at 5 a.m.

Praise from the City of Whittier:

“Thanks very much for Ferrovial’s support of the community of Whittier in our time of need.” – City of Whittier Mayor

“Hey, tell your guys thank you so much for the support this morning. They did an awesome job!!!” – Whittier Fire Department

The entire emergency response team consisted of the Whittier Fire Department, Whittier Police Department, AAMT Fire Department and Girdwood Fire Department.

[photo and story contribution by David McCourtney]