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Several injured as chairs drop from Maine ski lift

Several injured as chairs drop from Maine ski lift

A chair lift derailed in high winds at Maine's tallest ski mountain Tuesday, sending screaming skiers plummeting as far as 30 feet (9 meters) to the slope below and injuring several of them.
The Sugarloaf resort in Carrabassett Valley, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Portland, said about six people were injured when five chairs fell. The resort's ski patrol evacuated the lift, which had passed an inspection.
None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, the resort said. The injured were treated and taken to hospitals. About 220 people were on the lift at the time.
Jay Marshall, hunkered down in a cold wind while on a lift next to the broken one, said that his lift was moving but that the broken one was not.
There was a "loud snapping noise" after the lift restarted, he said, then screams.
"The next thing I know, it was bouncing up and down like a yo-yo," he said. Some skiers tumbled from their chairs.
Jill Gray, a spokeswoman for Franklin Memorial Hospital about in Farmington, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) from the mountain, said that one person was taken there and flown to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Another person was being treated in Franklin's emergency room, she said, and the hospital expected to receive five more patients. She did not give details on the injuries.
At the time of the accident, high winds were buffeting Maine a day after a blizzard swept across the region.
The National Weather Service has no wind sensors near Sugarloaf, but a weather balloon launched in Gray, in southern Maine, showed winds of 40 mph (64 kph) at 1,000 feet (305 meters) Tuesday, a weather service meteorologist.
It's unclear whether the accident was wind-related or mechanical.


Updated : 2021-06-22 21:16 GMT+08:00