25 people fell 30-feet from the Thunderstruck chairlift at Timberline ski resort in West Virginia when the chairlift failed yesterday. 9 were injured and 2 were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The 25 skiers fell about 30-feet when the lift suddenly stopped due to a mechanical failure.
The chairlift is 30 years old. The chair will remained closed indefinitely. An investigation into why the lift broke is underway.
Bad day at timberline pic.twitter.com/9jAFldZDhl
— Chase Fowler (@fowler_chase) February 20, 2016
The rest of the skiers on the lift were rescued within 2 hours.
200 people were on the chair at the time of the chairlift failure.
Official Statement from Timberline Four Seasons Resort
“Early this morning Timberline’s Thunderstruck triple chairlift suffered mechanical failure, prompting the resort to shut down the lift. Due to this morning’s incident 9 people were evaluated for injury, 2 of which were transported to a nearby medical facility with minor injuries, the other seven were cleared in the field. All other passengers have been safely removed from the lift. We would like to thank Canaan Valley ski patrol, Timberline ski patrol, the local fire departments and emergency services for their prompt response to this unfortunate incident. Life Flight was on the scene as a precautionary measure, but thankfully was not needed. Timberline holds the safety of our skiers as one of our highest priorities.
The Silver Queen lift will continue operating to transport skiers to the top of the mountain. Because of the delays caused by this morning’s lift malfunction, Timberline will keep Salamander Run open until dusk for day skiers, and night skiing will take place as scheduled.
The cause of this failure is yet to be determined, pending a complete investigation by licensed engineers. All of Timberline’s lifts undergo thorough and rigorous inspection in a timely fashion and are in compliance with all applicable safety standards, including federal guidelines for maintenance and annual mechanical inspection and the strict safety requirements of Timberline’s insurance provider. Daily maintenance checks are performed each morning by resort staff, and ski patrol rides the lifts and completes a visual inspection of Timberline’s lifts before they are opened to the public. The resort maintains a mechanic on staff for routine service. In our 30 year history, Timberline has never had a lift failure resulting in injury or in any way comparable to today’s malfunction, and the resort will continue to investigate the cause of this incident to ensure the safety of our skiers.”
– Timberline, yesterday