Ski Instructor Jay Marshall: “I heard noise, I heard people screaming, and I looked to my left … the cable was bouncing up an down, and that point I knew something awful had happened.”
A 35-year-old chair lift fails at one of Maine’s most popular ski resorts, sending skiers plummeting into ungroomed snow far below. At least six skiers at Sugarloaf resort in Shapleigh, Maine were transported to the hospital.
At approximately 10:30 this morning, the Spillway East lift at Sugarloaf derailed from the lift’s eighth tower. Five chairs fell an estimated 25-30 feet to the ground below. None of the injuries were reported to be life-threatening. At the time of the accident there were about 220 people on the chair lift.
According to a Sugarloaf press release, the Spillway East chair is A two-passenger monocable fixed grip chair manufactured and installed by Borvig in 1975. This lift was modified in 1983. Spillway East is 4,013 feet long with a vertical of 1,454 feet. This chair moves at a speed of 500 feet per minute and the chairs are 50 feet apart. There are 162 chairs on this lift each weighing 140lbs. Spillway East has a 250 horsepower motor and has a capacity for 1,200 skiers per hour.
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