The slopes at Val Saint-Côme Ski Resort re-opened Monday morning, but the T-bar lift remained closed, hours after a six-year-old girl suffered serious injuries on a ski lift and was later pronounced dead.
The incident occurred on Sunday morning around 9:30 a.m.
Quebec provincial police say the young girl was using a T-bar lift to ascend the hill.
Sources tell Global News preliminary reports suggest the girl’s hood may have gotten caught on the lift as she tried to get down — which might have strangled her.
Police say their investigation is ongoing.
“We have to interview witnesses and wait for the forensic report and we’re also working with the coroner’s office,” said Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Marc Tessier.
François Gagnon, president and CEO of the ski resort told reporters on Monday that the entire Val Saint-Côme family is grieving.
“We put a support program in place immediately for workers who were shaken by the tragic incident,” he said. “All of our thoughts are with the young girl’s family and friends.”
The CEO of Quebec’s ski resorts association, Yves Juneau, says there are 60 T-bars at 40 ski resorts across the province.
He says it is a common ski lift and one that has been around for decades.
Though there are more modern lifts that have been gradually replacing the T-bar, Juneau says it is not because of safety concerns.
“Nowadays, especially for beginner slopes or terrain that is a bit flatter, we will use conveyor lifts,” said Juneau. “T-bars are safe, but they’re not as easy to use. That’s why we see some ski areas replace that equipment with the new conveyor belts.”
Juneau says the association will also follow up with the results of the investigation, to ensure an accident like this one never happens again.