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Sugarloaf: Lift Had Problem Before Failure

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A man was pinned under one of the chairs that fell, and Jack Michaud reports he was not able to get out on his own strength. (credit: Jack Michaud)

A man was pinned under one of the chairs that fell, and Jack Michaud reports he was not able to get out on his own strength. (credit: Jack Michaud)

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CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (AP) — A Maine ski area says workers who were trying to realign a ski lift cable had stopped to get riders off the lift when the cable jumped its track, sending skiers plummeting 25 to 30 feet.

The lift had been cleared for operations following high winds that shut it down earlier in the day. Sugarloaf resort said Wednesday that about 20 minutes after the lift reopened, two maintenance workers were dispatched to one of its towers, where they saw the cable out of place. They couldn’t fix it and were preparing to shut down the lift when the cable derailed.

CBS’ Whit Johnson reports.

State investigators say high wind contributed to the accident Tuesday but didn’t rule out other factors.

Eight skiers were sent to hospitals. Sugarloaf has said that the lift, which recently passed an inspection, was due to be replaced.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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