UPDATE: Sugarloaf chairlift accident

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 28, 2010 2:32 pm

Carrabassett Valley, Maine – (5 p.m. EST) An inspector from the State of Maine Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety arrived at Sugarloaf this afternoon to conduct an investigation into the causes of today’s accident on the Spillway East chairlift.

Sugarloaf personnel are assisting in the investigation. Additional engineering personnel are expected to arrive this evening and will join the investigation team on Wednesday.

A seventh chairlift passenger was sent to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Maine as a precautionary measure early this afternoon. That individual had been checked at the scene by resort medical personnel and stated that he was fine, but later reported feeling some pain and was transported to the hospital.

For reasons of patient confidentiality, Sugarloaf cannot release specific information related to the identities or medical condition of those involved.

“We’re deeply concerned about those who were injured,” said Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin, “and we’re committed to understanding the cause of this incident. We want our guests to have fun, but our first priority is their safety.”

Austin said that weather conditions at the mountain today were windy, but not atypical for Sugarloaf immediately after a major snowstorm.

Operations on the Spillway East were delayed this morning due to the wind, which diminished by mid-morning. Resort personnel checked the lift prior to opening.

The resort plans normal operations for the remainder of the week with the exception of the Spillway East chair, which will remain closed until the preliminary investigation is completed and the lift is cleared by the State of Maine to resume operation.