UPDATE 3: Sugarloaf King Pine lift incident
Carrabassett Valley, Maine (4:30pm) - An inspector from the State of Maine Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety is on site at Sugarloaf this afternoon to work with the resort in investigating the causes of today's incident on the King Pine lift.
The lift experienced a rollback at 11:34am resulting in injuries to a total of 7 guests. Four of those guests were transported to Franklin Memorial Hospital with apparently non-life-threatening injuries (a previous statement identified this number as 3).
A rollback refers to an incident in which the chairlift travels backwards. The rollback did not cause the lift to de-rope. The lift rolled back a distance of 9 chairs.
All guests were evacuated from the lift by Sugarloaf Ski Patrol and other personnel by 1:22pm. A total of 204 people were evacuated from the lift. No guests were injured during the lift evacuation process.
"Our first concern is with the guests who were injured and all of those who were impacted by the incident at the resort today," Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin said. "Our staff is working with the Tramway Board on a thorough investigation, and we are committed to understanding the full cause of today's incident."
The King Pine Quad is a 4 passenger monocable fixed grip quad built in 1988 and manufactured by Borvig. It is located on the eastern side of the mountain. King Pine is 3,400 feet long with a vertical of 1,074 feet. The chair moves at a speed of 450 feet per minute and the chairs are roughly 51 feet apart. There are a total of 122 chairs on the lift, which is powered by a 400 horsepower motor. It has a transportation capacity of 2,100 skiers per hour.
The chairlift receives routine daily inspections for safety. A routine daily inspection of the lift this morning by Sugarloaf's lift maintenance staff revealed no irregularities.
Additionally, the chairlift receives weekly, monthly and yearly maintenance and testing. The lift is also inspected annually by the State of Maine Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety (Tramway Board). King Pine was certified to operate by the Tramway Board on October 29, 2014 following its annual inspection and a full dynamic load test.
The lift will remain closed until the investigation into the cause of the accident is complete. All other chairlifts will continue to operate as scheduled.
Sugarloaf is committed to the safety of its guests and its employees.
We will issue further updates as additional information becomes available.
For all information released today, please visit Sugarloaf's media room at www.sugarloaf.com/media-room.
Sugarloaf Director of Marketing