© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

More Than 150 Evacuated From Stuck Chairlift

Stowe Resort sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

State regulators are investigating why a chairlift stopped running at a Vermont ski resort, prompting the evacuation of approximately 160 skiers and snowboarders.
In a written statement Stowe Mountain Resort spokesman Jeff Wise said the Lookout Double lift stopped operating around 10:30 a.m. Sunday because of an interruption in the electrical system. An auxiliary engine also did not work so the ski patrol started evacuating the lift at 10:45 a.m. using rope to rappel people down. All guests were safely off the lift by about 1 p.m.

Some were stranded for hours. Keri Crafts, of Burlington, and her two daughters were about halfway up when the lift stopped. She told WCAX-TV they sat there for about 2 ½ hours, and at one point, she saw people start to jump from chairs to the ground.

"We got off and we were so frozen, it was probably 20 degrees, maybe," she said. "With the winds and snow, many people we talked to were like, we can't even ski down," said Keri Crafts of Burlington."

A state inspector with the Passenger Tramway Board was expected to visit Stowe on Monday, according to Stephen Monahan, the Labor Department's director of workers' compensation and safety.

The lift was built in 1979, Monahan said.

Stowe said this is the first year in nearly a decade that it has had a lift evacuation. "The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority," the resort said, adding that the resort has "a maintenance and inspection schedule for the proper operation and safety" of its lifts.

All contents © copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Related Content