An investigation by an independent technical safety regulator has confirmed that the Sea to Sky Gondola’s cable was deliberately cut.
The incident happened in the early hours of Aug. 10, causing most of the gondola’s 30 cabins to fall to the ground, many of them damaged beyond repair. No one was hurt.
RCMP said late last month they believed the severing of the 5.2-centimetre cable, known as a haul rope, was a deliberate, criminal act of vandalism.
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“Our technical failure analysis has concluded that the haul rope wires were substantially cut while under tension,” Jeff Coleman of Technical Safety BC said in a statement.
“Once a sufficient number of wire strands had been cut, the remaining rope segment yielded under the tension from the non-operating gondola.”
The cut, according to the regulator, was somewhere in the top third or quarter of the gondola route.
The agency said tests found no evidence that the wire haul rope was defective. It also concluded a part of the cable that was previously damaged was not involved in the collapse.
The report also concluded a likely instrument used to cut the cable, however the information was redacted.
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The regulator added that cutting the cable “was an extremely dangerous act.”
“The resulting tension overload that caused many of the individual steel wires and the rope to snap while being cut could have resulted in serious injury or even death to those involved,” said Coleman.
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“Anyone close to the gondola when this occurred could have been seriously hurt or killed.”
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The agency’s full report can be seen here.
RCMP continue to investigate the incident.
The company that operates the gondola says it hopes to have the popular attraction reopened by spring 2020.