Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Gondola cable seems to have been cut, say Squamish RCMP

Sea to sky gondola collapse Police in Squamish are investigating after the Sea-to Sky Gondola collapsed early Saturday morning
Deanna Wagner | 13 August, 2019, 09:23

A gondola auto can be seen on the ground after someone apparently cut a cable at the Sea to Sky Gondola in British Columbia early Saturday, according to police. Authorities suspect someone cut the cable in "a deliberate act of vandalism", a RCMP officer says, per the CBC.

Ken Bailey, a spokesperson for the Sea to Sky Gondola, said at around 4:30 a.m., they received an alert that the haul rope for the gondola had fallen and that the lift was "inoperable". "We will continue our investigation and release updates to you as soon as possible". "At this time, it's a crime scene".

However, earlier he told the CBC that nearly all of the 31 gondola cars attached to the cable fell to the ground, and that the cable line had recently been inspected and found to be in good shape.

The RCMP said in a statement that technical staff and the gondola's manufacturers were inspecting the cable to confirm whether it had been vandalised.

"Right now we are looking at all possibilities, which includes those criminal in nature", spokeswoman Const. Ashley MacKay said in a statement.

"This type of incident resonates with everyone, as we all recognize the impact of what could have happened", Constable MacKay said.

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Each cabin holds up to eight people.

The company says, in an alert on its website, that due to a major lift incident the tourist attraction is closed for the foreseeable future, and that more information will be provided later. "We are now assessing the damage, which will help us identify the cause of the incident". Luckily, the RCMP has reported no injuries, but they are warning people to stay clear of the area during the investigation.

Police have appealed to hikers, climbers and campers in the area who may have been witnesses.

The Sea to Sky gondola first launched in May 2014 and is open year-round. "It's just a catastrophe on many different levels", she said.

Police said that technical safety experts were assessing the line. The gondola is now closed.

Police are asking visitors to stay away from the area, including away from nearby trails.The Sea to Sky Gondola takes passengers to nearly 900 metres above sea level, providing views of Howe Sound and surrounding waterfalls.