It was a pretty scary ride for ski lift riders of the King Pine lift, and videos like the one in this story are appearing on YouTube, which show the fear surrounding the accident at Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, as the lift chairs begin sliding backward, and people can be heard screaming for the riders to get off the careening ski lifts.
The video titled Sugarloaf King Pine Goes backwards, uploaded by David Souweine four hours ago, approximately 2:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 21, shows YouTube’s standard “301 views” that the website gives to those videos going viral. In the video’s description, Souweine reported his findings at the time.
“The sugarloaf lift went backwards uncontrolled for about 10-15 chairs. 4 injuries reported. Probably not life-threatening.”
According to NECN, there were seven injuries in the lift accident at Sugarloaf, and the resort has closed the King Pine lift until an investigation into the malfunctioning is over. They’ve yet to accurately determine what caused the lift chairs to start sliding backwards down the mountain on Saturday, an incident that caused folks to panic and begin jumping off the chairs as they increased in speed going backwards.
Social media photos and videos of the incident as it happened and afterward, showing people being rescued from the Sugarloaf chairlift are spreading across the web on sites like Bangor Daily News. The video by Souweine appears to be the first live-action YouTube video of the accident as it happened. In that video, sounds of cries can be heard as people are seen jumping from the lift. A woman can be heard telling the crying person that they are all right.
Approximately 230 people were evacuated from the Sugarloaf chairlifts by ski patrol, reports WCSH-TV, and it took about two hours to get everyone off the lifts. In the wake of the accident, at least four injured skiers were taken to the hospital.
As reported by the Inquisitr, this isn’t the first time there was an accident at Sugarloaf, but Saturday’s accident represented the second time there has been an occurrence with lifts at Sugarloaf in five years.
Back in 2010, a Sugarloaf lift derailed, sending five chairs and eight skiers crashing to the ground at a drop of 25 to 35 feet down. The most recent Sugarloaf accident was deemed a rollback, one that sent the ski lift riders back approximately 450 feet, but didn’t appear to send chairlifts crashing to the ground. The latest inspection on the 3,400-foot Sugarloaf lift was on October 29.
[Image via YouTube]