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Mountain staff condemned after Maine chairlift accident

At least eight skiiers are injured after a chairlift derails amid heavy storms – but should it have been open at all?

Skiers ride a chairlift with a view of Spillway East chair lift, background, where six people were injured when five chairs fell to the ground yesterday.
Skiers ride a chairlift with a view of Spillway East chair lift, background, where six people were injured when five chairs fell to the ground yesterday.
Image: Pat Wellenbach/AP

Details are emerging about yesterday’s terrifying chairlift accident in Maine, as a state agency begins an official investigation.

At least eight skiiers were injured when the Sugarloaf chairlift derailed.

According to The Portland Press Herald, Sugarloaf staff had delayed opening the Spillway East chairlift because of winds up to 50 mph. They opened the lift at 9:55 AM after a “significant” drop in the wind, but kept other chairlifts closed. Although a routine decision by mountain officials, this one proved dangerous.

The accident occurred at 10:30 AM when a section of cable derailed and five chairs fell to the ground.

The 35-year-old Borvig chairlift had passed yearly inspection by the state Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety.

Read more at The Portland Press Herald >

Reproduced with permission from Business Insider.

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Gavan Reilly

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