Terrifying Video Shows 9-Year-Old Dangling From Chairlift

The boy plummeted from about 20 feet, but he's expected to be OK.

ByABC News
January 12, 2015, 10:31 AM

— -- Terrifying video from a Pennsylvania ski resort showed a 9-year-old boy dangling from a chairlift, holding on for dear life.

The video, captured Saturday, showed the boy at Liberty Mountain resort in Fairfield, Adams County. People gathered two stories below as the boy flailed his legs, with one ski still attached to the lift. Adrian Delgado shot the video on his cell phone.

“At the end, they [other chairlift occupants] couldn’t pull him, because it would be rocking the lift, or all three of them would fall,” Delgado said.

The boy fell from about 20 feet, but he’s expected to be OK.

There’s no word on what caused the accident, and authorities were investigating.

The incident wasn’t the first chairlift accident this ski season. On the same day as the boy’s accident, a 5-year-old riding a beginner chairlift by himself in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, plummeted 30 feet, leaving the boy in serious condition.

At least one death and one other injury were reported in previous weeks, including a 44-year-old mother who died in upstate New York after falling 25 feet. Her death was later ruled accidental.

Authorities say chairlift deaths are uncommon. You’re more likely to die riding an elevator than a ski lift, with 15 deaths reported in the past four decades, and no fatalities from a chairlift malfunction since 1993, according to the National Ski Areas Association, which represents ski area owners and operators.

Mike Russo, the risk and safety manager at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado, said skiers need to know the risks of riding on a chairlift and take safety seriously.

“If you think you are going to drop something like a pole or a glove,” he told ABC News, “it’s best just to let that item drop and then somebody can go back around and pick it up for you.”