Mont Sainte-Anne ski lift comes to sudden stop, injuring 21

Skiers looking to hit the slopes at Mont Sainte-Anne on Friday had their plans disrupted after the hill's ski lift came to an abrupt halt, jostling passengers inside gondolas.

12 taken to hospital by ambulance

The ski lift came to an abrupt stop, causing some minor injuries for people who were inside gondolas at the time. (Guylaine Bussiere/RADIO-CANADA)

A ski lift at Mont Sainte-Anne came to a sudden stop Friday morning, leaving 21 people injured, including 12 who were taken to hospital by ambulance.

Skier Jacques Hardy said the abruptness of the stop caused the gondola he was in to swing almost completely around the lift cable.

"We started to swing from one side to the other," he said. "We almost did a 360. Two of the three cabin windows came out and another passenger almost fell out. We had to hold him by his feet."

Radio-Canada anchor Patrice Roy was on board one of the gondolas when it stopped and described the suddenly violent motion that ensued.

"All of a sudden, pow! It started to swing massively," he said. "It was swinging so much that there were gondolas a little above us that hit the lift tower."

Roy said the windows broke on those gondolas and the skiers' skis were dislodged from the external carrier and fell to the hill below.

The ski resort later restarted the lift and checked passengers for injuries when they disembarked.

Mont Sainte-Anne is located 40 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.

The lift has 80 gondolas that can carry up to eight passengers each, said Maxime Cretin, vice-president and general manager of the eastern region for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which owns the resort.

Cretin said that they will be launching an investigation to find out what caused the incident. He said compensation for those who were injured is possible if the investigation finds that the resort was responsible for the accident.

With files from Radio-Canada


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