5 injured in Pennsylvania ski lift mishap

A chair slipped sending into another and setting off a chain reaction.

ByWILLIAM J. GORTA
December 16, 2017, 6:21 PM

— -- Five people were injured at a Pennsylvania ski resort Saturday when a chair on the ski lift slid backward into the chair behind it, setting off a chain reaction that involved a total of five chairs, officials said.

Around 10 a.m., a "malfunction" on a section of the chair lift cut the first car loose, sending it sliding down the rope into another chair and causing a "chain reaction" that sent four slipped chairs sliding into a fifth, the Tussey Mountain ski resort said in a statement.

PHOTO: Company 5 and Centre Hall Volunteer Fire Company were dispatched to assist Boalsburg Fire Company with a high-angle rescue at Tussey Mountain Ski Resort in Pennsylvania, Dec. 16, 2017.
Company 5 and Centre Hall Volunteer Fire Company were dispatched to assist Boalsburg Fire Company with a high-angle rescue at Tussey Mountain Ski Resort in Pennsylvania, Dec. 16, 2017.
Courtesy Alpha Fire Company and Boalsburg Fire Company

The State College, Pennsylvania, police said there were five minor injuries in the pile-up, none life-threatening.

"We take the safety of our guests very seriously, and are saddened to learn that there were non-life threatening injuries as a result of this accident," a statement on the Tussey Mountain Facebook page said.

Police said it took 90 minutes to evacuate the chair lift, including people who were stranded aloft when the lift was stopped.

PHOTO: @nicks821 posted this photo to Instagram on Dec. 16, 2017 of a rescue at Tussey Mountain Ski Resort in Centre County, Pa.
@nicks821 posted this photo to Instagram on Dec. 16, 2017 of a rescue at Tussey Mountain Ski Resort in Centre County, Pa.
@nicks821/Instagram

Tussey Mountain, which closed after the mishap, said the lift had been inspected by state safety officials and had received a passing grade.

"[W]e have begun taking the necessary steps to ensure a situation like this will never happen again," Tussey Mountain's statement said. "We have contacted the manufacturer of the lift to diagnose what caused the malfunction, as well as the appropriate state agencies prior to re-opening."

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