Investigation underway into cause of Crystal Mountain ski lift crash

The cable derailed on the chairlift at Crystal Mountain Resort injuring 4 people, 2 critically on Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014.
Image Credit: Contributed/Zack Tereposky

WEST KELOWNA – The investigation into the chairlift accident at Crystal Mountain Resort on Saturday will hopefully provide answers to why the lift failed so dramatically.

At 11 a.m. an empty chair on the double chairlift hit the second life tower. This caused the cable to leave its track.

The cable and three chairs plummeted about 7 m to the ground, along with 4 people.

Three Crystal Mountain staff members and a 16-year-old boy were rushed to hospital.

Two of the victims were in critical condition when they were transported to Kelowna General with multiple broken bones, one by air ambulance and one by ground ambulance.

According to the resort’s GM Mike Morin, none of the injuries are life-threatening.

“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this unfortunate incident,” Morin says. “It is our heartfelt hope that our injured staff members and customer will experience a rapid and complete recovery.”

The lift is almost 50 years old. It was built in 1967.

The B.C. Safety Authority is looking into the crash and Morin says Crystal Mountain is working closely with the investigators.

He says the lift gets regular maintenance and safety inspections.

“We are strongly committed to take all measures necessary to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.”

Image Credit: Contributed/Leona Tereposky

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