by Diana Haecker ~ May 9th, 2011
The sound of a big explosion ripped through the night on Friday and could be heard as far as Talkeetna when 550 pounds of dynamite detonated in Trapper Creek. A Trapper Creek man had the dynamite stored in an old abandoned station wagon on his property. He had called the Alaska Wildlife Trooper on Friday and showed him the wagon containing 550 pounds of ammonium nitrate that had been stored there since the mid-90s. The trooper called the Elmendorf explosive ordinance disposal unit. When the specialists arrived at the scene on mile 3.5 of Petersville Road, they deemed the dynamite unstable and evacuated about 50 homes in a 6,600-foot radius. Troopers, Mat-Su Emergency Services including the Talkeetna Fire Department, the American Red Cross and the Division of Forestry responded and helped with the evacuation. The evacuees were taken to the Trapper Creek Elementary School. At 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, the Elmendorf explosive specialists blew up the station wagon with the dynamite. Two windows in a nearby home blew out, but no other damage was reported. Trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen said that they are withholding the dynamite owner’s identity and that the case is sill under investigation. So far, no charges have been pressed.