1 dead, others believed missing in Alaska landslide, authorities say

By: Becky Bohrer and Mark Thiessen

This image from video provided by Sunrise Aviation shows the landslide that occurred the previous evening near Wrangell, Alaska, on Nov. 21, 2023. Authorities said at least one person died and others were believed missing after the large landslide roared down a mountaintop into the path of three homes. (Sunrise Aviation via AP)

Juneau, Alaska (AP) – At least one person has died and others are believed missing following a large landslide that covered a highway near a remote community in southeast Alaska during the night, authorities said Tuesday.

The slide occurred about 9 p.m. Monday near Wrangell, an island community of more than 2,000 people about 155 miles (250 kilometers) south of Juneau, Alaska State Troopers said.

A preliminary survey determined three homes were in the direct path of the slide, the first responders started a quick search for survivors, the troopers said in a statement.

“The body of one deceased individual was located during the hasty search. Multiple individuals are believed to have been within the slide area when the landslide occurred and are believed to be missing,” the statement added.

Local crews were working with authorities including the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

In December 2020, torrential rains prompted a landslide in another southeast Alaska city, claiming two lives. The 200-yard-wide slide slammed into a neighborhood in the community of Haines, leaving about 9 feet (2.7 meters) of mud and trees covering city streets.


Thiessen reported from Anchorage, Alaska.