19 people rescued from chairlift at Edmonton ski hill after mechanical issue occurs

A file photo of people on a chairlift at Edmonton's Sunridge Ski Area. Global News

Nineteen people stuck on a chairlift that malfunctioned were rescued by rope amid freezing temperatures at an Edmonton ski hill on Thursday night.

The president of Sunridge Ski Area, which is located on the city’s eastern outskirts, issued a news release about the incident on Friday.

“The chairlift stopped at 6:20 p.m., the rope evacuation started at 6:40 p.m., and all passengers were evacuated by 7:30 p.m.,” Ian Bakker wrote. “There were no injuries to any of the passengers.”

Bakker said the rescue was initiated after “a mechanical issue occurred on our Parkview Quad chairlift.”

“This issue meant that the chairlift could not continue to be operated to allow passengers to get off at the top,” he wrote.

READ MORE: Grouse Mountain rewards ‘heroes’ who rescued 8-year-old dangling from chairlift

According to Bakker, the 19 people who were stuck were on nine of the chairs. He said the rope evacuation involved “teams of ski patrol and other trained staff going to each chair on the line and lowering passengers using specially designed rope lines and a chair evacuation seat.”

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“This incident was immediately reported to the Alberta government agency with oversight for passenger ropeways (Alberta Elevating Devices Amusement Rides Safety Association, or AEDARSA for short) and a representative from AEDARSA arrived at about 7:15 p.m. on Thursday as the rope evacuation was being completed,” Bakker wrote.

“On Friday morning Jan. 10, AEDARSA investigators were on scene to do an investigation to ascertain the cause of the issue.”

Sunridge’s quad chairlift will not be running until the investigation into the cause is complete and not until a lift engineer completes an assessment. However, Bakker said there are indications “the issue can be fixed relatively quickly.”

Bakker said the temperature was -23 C at the time of the rope rescue but that winds were light.

Watch below: Some Global News videos about chairlifts.


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