Skiers rescued after chairlift breaks down at Mont Ste. Marie

About 100 skiers were stranded after a chairlift at a resort north of Gatineau, Que., broke down, prompting fears the skiers could develop hypothermia.

Swift response after lift broke down late Saturday morning north of Gatineau, Que.

This photo tweeted by @dbiffster shows skiers at Mont Ste. Marie ski resort in western Quebec on Jan. 3, 2015, the same day the chairlift broke down. (Photo tweeted by @dbiffster)

About 100 skiers were stranded after a chairlift at a resort north of Gatineau, Que., broke down, but rescue efforts were swift and all the skiers were safely on the ground within four hours.

The lift at Mont Ste. Marie ski resort shut down at about 11:45 a.m. ET Saturday for reasons not yet known, officials said. About 100 skiers were initially stranded, but each one was brought down to safety before 3:45 p.m. ET.

There had been concerns the skiers could develop hypothermia as the temperature remained below zero in western Quebec, but the many volunteers and staff members on site helped lead the rescue.

Staff members also prepared rooms at the ski lodge to accommodate those pulled from the lifts, officials said.

Officials said the "Vanier" chairlift broke down due to a problem with its bearings. They added the ski resort would be open on Sunday with the two other lifts, but it's not known whether the Vanier lift will be operational in time.

Mont Ste. Marie is run by the same company that runs the nearby Camp Fortune ski resort in Chelsea, Que.

It is located about 100 kilometres north of Ottawa.


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