Coast Guard suspends search for person missing after Whittier fire

A fire burns at Delong Dock after an explosion on fixed barge in Whittier, Alaska, July 8, 2019. In addition to Coast Guard crews, response efforts included members of the Whittier Fire Department, Whittier Police Department, Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel Fire Department and Girdwood Fire Department. Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Anchorage.

A fire burns at Delong Dock after an explosion on fixed barge in Whittier, Alaska, July 8, 2019. Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Anchorage.

JUNEAU, Alaska β€” The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a 49-year-old Cordova man who went missing after an explosion at the Delong Dock in Whittier, Alaska, Monday.

β€œThe Coast Guard committed all available resources in conducting this search effort,” said Cmdr. Mark Kuperman, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage deputy commander and the search-and-rescue mission coordinator for the search. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends who were impacted by this tragedy.”

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur and volunteers aboard Coast Guard Auxiliary Boat 336 conducted the search across approximately 12 square miles over the course of 17 hours.

The Coast Guard has conducted a next of kin notification and Coast Guard personnel have assumed lead in the National Safety Transportation Board investigation into the cause of the explosion.

Initial reporting on the explosion and search can be found here.

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