Skiers Fall 30 Feet From Sugarloaf Lift 

Something went wrong at Sugarloaf Mountain Tuesday. Three chairs of a chairlift detached and tumbled to the ground.People in those chairs fell too. As much as thirty feet to the snow below.At least six people were taken to the hospital, it’s unclear at this hour what their conditions are. What we do know is they all fell about 30 feet to the ground. The incident happened on the lift known as the Spillway. Sugarloaf officials tell us that the lift was opened at 9:55 a.m. Just a half hour before the derailment.Officials are calling this a rope derailment. That’s basically when the chair comes off the wheels of the track. Three chairs hit the ground. Six people were in those chairs.There were about 150 people on the lift at the time. By 12:30 all of those skiers were evacuated off the lift by ski patrol.Bill Leach and his 15-year-old daughter were on the lift. “People from Sugarloaf were awesome. They came down and talked to us. Let us know what was going on the whole time, and eventually the guess came and took us off one by one. We were up there for about an hour,” Bill Leach said. Becca Leach said, “It was scary at first but then we realized it was going to be okay.”The Spillway lift was made in 1975. It had modifications made to it in 1983.Apparently, in 2008 the Spillway lift had some problems. According to a story we reported on a Sugarloaf electrician performing maintenance was injured. At that time, people on the lift had to be evacuated. No skiers were hurt.We also have word that Sugarloaf was looking to replace a number of lifts, including the Spillway. But a spokesperson declined to say when.We’re told that each lift is inspected daily, and Tuesday was no exception. Officials say an investigation is underway to determine exactly why this happened.Three lifts, including the Spillway lift at Sugarloaf were closed earlier Tuesday morning due to wind conditions.