March 06, 2014 - 10:39 AM
WEST KELOWNA - A woman who suffered serious injuries when a Crystal Mountain chairlift collapsed last weekend will require two more weeks in hospital to recover.
The collapse happened March 1, 2014 at about 11 a.m. Four passengers suffered broken bones and bruises. The resort will remain closed today and Friday while the investigation into the double chairlift collapse continues and it's unknown if the resort will open this weekend.
All four skiiers were taken to Kelowna General Hospital and three have been released. Two of the passengers are husband and wife and ski patrol workers for the resort. The wife will remain in hospital for two more weeks. She is recovering from broken ribs, a broken clavical and damage to some vertebrae tips. There was no spinal cord damage. She is currently in the intensive care unit. Her husband fared better. No bones were broken and he has a bruised leg.
A 16-year-old ski-instructor is recovering from a broken arm. His 45-year-old student has broken ribs.
So far B.C. Safety Authority investigators haven't found the root cause for the accident. Three chairs fell 6 m to the snow. Witnesses told the Safety Authority one chair was swinging just before the collapse and hit one of the support towers causing the cable to slip off. Stranded riders had to be rescued by resort staff.
Decisions about season pass holder discounts or refunds will be made following the investigation. Ski school lessons scheduled during the closure have been moved to next week.
"Until I know our lifts are 100 per cent safe, we will remain closed," General Manager of the resort, Mike Morin said. "We are doing everything in our power to assist the investigation so we can get the resort back up and running as soon as possible."
The resort has organized councelling for staff members.
Crystal Mountain is expected to open from Thursday to Sunday next week and the tentative closing date is March 23.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014