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Sugarloaf ski lift accident: High wind found to be primary factor in skiers' plunge

December 29, 2010 | 12:07 pm

Skiers and lift chairs on the slope after a lift derailed Tuesday at Sugarloaf Mountain ski resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.

Investigators looking into the Sugarloaf ski lift accident in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, have determined that high wind was a primary factor in the chairlift derailment Tuesday that sent skiers at Sugarloaf Mountain plunging 25 to 30 feet to the ground.

Inspectors from the Maine Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety made the preliminary findings, Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin told Associated Press on Wednesday.

The investigation is continuing, and it's unclear when it will be concluded, Austin said, adding that  "pending further investigation, they've determined that wind was a primary factor."

The Spillway East chairlift was due to be replaced and was known to be vulnerable to wind, the resort said Tuesday.

Eight people, including three children, were taken to the Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Maine, after the accident. According to a hospital spokeswoman, six of them were either treated and released or were discharged, and the other two were transferred to a larger hospital.

RELATED:

Sugarloaf Mountain: Seventh person reported injured in ski lift derailment

Ski lift derailment at Maine resort leaves several injured

-- Kelly Burgess
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Photo: Skiers and lift chairs on the slope after a lift derailed Tuesday at Sugarloaf Mountain ski resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. Credit: Al Noyes via Associated Press

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