December 28, 2010 by staff
Season Pass holder Betsy Twombly said the Falmouth station Sugarloaf told him that the elevator would be the first to be replaced under an improvement plan for 10 years.
Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin said the elevator was on a list of those that need improvement, but declined to say when this was due to arrive.
Six people were taken to hospitals after the accident on Tuesday. Resort officials say five chairs fell from 25 to 30 feet on the newly fallen snow.
Officials say the elevator became operational in 1975 and has been regularly inspected and approved for this season. State inspectors are on the scene.
This update NEWS. Check back soon for more information. AP story earlier is below.
Carrabassett Valley, Maine (AP) – A chairlift derailed in strong winds at the mountain ski the largest of Maine on Tuesday sending skiers crying in free fall up to 30 feet below the slope and injured several of them.
Station Sugarloaf Carrabassett Valley, about 120 miles north of Portland, said about six people were injured when five presidents have fallen in 25 to 30 feet. Ski patrol station evacuated the elevator, which had passed an inspection.
None of the injuries appeared to be life threatening, the station said. The wounded were treated and evacuated to hospital. About 220 people were on the elevator at the time, and inspectors have been directed toward the stage.
Rebecca London, one of the skiers who fell in the snow, told The Associated Press that she had a soft landing because the mountain has not treated the newly fallen snow underneath the lift. Her face struck the handrail, but his glasses saved him from serious injury, “she said.
Most skiers who fell appeared to be dazed, but OK, “she said, and the ski patrol was on scene within minutes to begin treating the wounded. London said she was not injured badly enough to go to hospital.
Jay Marshall, crouched in a cold wind, while on a bridge beside the broken, said his elevator is in motion, but that one was not broken.
There was a “popping noise dry” after the lifting restarted, he said, cries, then.
“The next thing I know, he was bouncing up and down like a yo-yo,” he said. Some skiers were dropped by their chairs.
Gideon Hacker, a skier from Princeton, NJ, said he saw at least one person taken off the mountain in a cart pulled by a snowmobile. He said that workers Sugarloaf used a pulley device to lower the skiers to safety.
Jill Gray, spokesman for the Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, about 45 miles from the mountain, “said one person was taken there and flown to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Another person was treated in the emergency room at Franklin, she said, and hospital patients should receive five more. It gave no details on injuries.
At the time of the accident, winds were shaking Maine one day after a snowstorm swept 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 km / h at 1,000 feet on Tuesday, a weather service meteorologist.
It is unclear whether the accident was related to wind or mechanical. The chairlift spillway has been duly licensed and inspected, “said Doug Dunbar of Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.
Chair Lifts station under the jurisdiction of the Board of the Department of Elevator and Tramway Safety, and two inspectors were sent to Sugarloaf, Dunbar said. Maine Emergency Management Agency was sending a representative and a spokesman said.
At 4,237 feet, Sugarloaf is Maine’s second highest mountain after Mount Katahdin.
Associated Press writer Wilson Ring in Montpellier, Bob Salsberg and Jay Lindsay in Boston, and David Sharp in Portland contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2010 the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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