On Tuesday, March 10th at approximately 7pm the Anchorage Fire Department Dispatch Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting that two patients had gone down an 8 foot hole in the 19000 block of Silverwood Hill Dr in Eagle River. The caller reported that the patients needed medical assistance.
Crews reported that the patients were working in an 8 foot deep hole with a well casing at the bottom. They had dropped dry ice down the hole near the well casing to help improve the pressure of a low producing home water well. One of the patients went down into the well and as the dry ice started to gas off it displaced the available oxygen and caused the first patient to have a medical emergency. The second patient observed what was occurring and jumped into assist and also encountered medical problems.
A 3rd person from the residence saw this happen and called 9-1-1 for assistance. First arriving crews quickly put on their rescue gear and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and jumped into the well and extricated both patients.
Both patients were transported to local hospitals for treatment.
Dry ice gasses are heavier than air and will accumulate in low areas and displace oxygen making the area extremely hazardous to work in. The Anchorage Fire Department wants to remind the public that if you are working with dry ice that you do it in a well ventilated area.