A terrifying accident was caught on camera, showing helpless skiers and snowboarders being thrown into the air from a malfunctioning ski lift.
On Friday, guests at Gudauri Ski Resort witnessed a horrifying incident that left at least 10 people injured, CNN reported.
The video, which was taken by another guest not far from the scene, shows skiers and snowboarders traveling downhill when their ski lifts hurdled backward.
Panicked guests started to jump from the carriage as it began picking up speed, while others were flung into the air. At the bottom of the hill, chairs piled up as bystanders screamed at people still in the lift to jump.
Witnesses compared the accident to “a scene from a Final Destination film” for being “freaky.”
Ryan Wilkinson, one of the bystanders present at the scene, were queuing at the bottom of the lift with a group of friends when they realized something was wrong. He recalled how the lift stopped for a minute or so before it started reversing.
He also revealed that a guy, believed to be a staff member of the resort, started smashing on a machine while shouting. Apparently, the ski lift had been closed for repairs for a week but reopened on Friday morning, shortly before the accident.
Wilkinson added that the language barrier with the Georgians made it hard for some tourists to understand what was going on.
“Everyone was shouting in Georgian and English for people to jump off. The only thing that stopped it getting worse was the friction caused by the pile-up of chairs at the bottom. People would have kept flying round otherwise.”
Meanwhile, Health Minister Davit Sergeenko confirmed that the affected tourists were Georgian, Russian, Swedish, and Ukranian — none of them suffered serious injuries.
All the treatment and transportation expenses will also be covered by the Ministry of Economy, the Telegraph reported.
Footage shows screaming tourists being flung off a ski chairlift and leaping to safety as it suddenly rips to double speedhttps://t.co/8WZmYjXFcT
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 16, 2018
And while the cause of the accident has yet to be confirmed, Economy Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili told reporters that the incident might have been caused by a possible “electricity outage.”
The ski lifts, which were installed at the resort in 2007, were reportedly designed to have an emergency brake and backup power generator. It remains unclear whether or not the features were used during the accident.
In a statement released by Doppelmayr, the Austrian manufacturer of the ski lift, they assured that two technicians have been sent to Georgia to respond and investigate the cause of the incident