Although the situation the characters face in The Ice Road is horrific and seems extremely real, the actual plot of the story is made up. Nonetheless, countless similar mining incidents to the one depicted in the film occur yearly, and often, some pretty serious measures are taken to attempt a safe rescue of those trapped underground.
For example, the premise of having to snake massive amounts of pipe down into the tunnel for oxygen flow is very real, as a collapsed mine has only a limited amount of breathable air trapped within it. The overlaps between fact and fiction in The Ice Road help foster the notion that many plot points are based in reality, but the particular details in the movie didn’t ever actually happen in real life.
Beyond showcasing how downright scary it is to be trapped in a mine fighting for your life, the movie does an amazing job at touching on the perilous job that ice truckers, particularly those working in and around Alaska, have to deal with while working.
Between cracking sheets of ice, snow-covered roads, and the ever-present risk of jackknifing, truckers in these environments deal with arguably some of the worst conditions on Earth, and Liam does well at establishing those risks in the film.