It has crossed all of our minds, we’re sitting on the chairlift, perhaps stopped midway up, and you begin to roll backwards faster and faster uncontrollably. At Gudauri Ski Resort in the Caucasus Mountain Range of Georgia this is exactly what happened today (March 16.) At least eight people have been injured, two seriously, but are not believed to be in life-threating condition. Medical costs will be covered and reimbursed by Gudauri Ski Resort.
The malfunctioning chairlift is built by Doppelmayr Caraventa, an Austrian company that manufactures chairlifts, cable cars, gondolas, surface tows for ski and amusement parks, as well as urban people movers and material handling systems. Doppelmayr Caraventa employees are being sent to Gudauri to evaluate the situation and the faulty chairlift that sent people flying backwards and off of the chair.
Initial reports suggest that engine failure is the root cause of the incident, but it is unclear why the several safety mechanisms, including the emergency break did not prevent the terrifying roll back.
The closing scene: