Land clearing explosion triggers Ketchikan highway landslide

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KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - Alaska State Troopers say a man using explosives to clear land north of Ketchikan created a landslide that blocked the North Tongass Highway.

Troopers say 67-year-old Michael Williams of Edna Bay, owner of Williams Drilling and Blasting, on Tuesday afternoon blasted rock for a residential project.

The detonation created a landslide that blocked both lanes of the highway at Mile 13.

The North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department assisted with traffic control. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Ketchikan volunteers with heavy machinery cleared the highway of large rocks and boulders.

Officials restricted traffic to one lane during the cleanup.

Both lanes were opened after about seven hours of work.

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