Two dozen skiers fall after chairlift derailment in West Virginia

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 20, 2016 4:38 PM

(Reuters) - A mechanical failure caused chairs on a ski lift at a West Virginia resort to derail on Saturday, sending 25 skiers tumbling to the snow-covered ground some 30 feet (9 meters) below, officials said.

Nine skiers were injured in the accident at the Timberline Four Seasons Resort in Davis, West Virginia, the resort said in a statement on Facebook. Seven were treated at the ski area, located about 60 miles (97 km) south of Morgantown in the northeastern part of the state, while two others were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

About 100 other skiers on the lift at the time of the malfunction needed to be evacuated around 9 a.m. local time, Joe Stevens, spokesman for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. He said of the skiers who fell some were thrown from their chairs while others landed while still sitting in derailed chairs.

"I've been involved in West Virginia ski industry since 1990 and this was the first time I've had this occur," Steven said.

Timberline said the cause of the malfunction remained unknown and an investigation was ongoing.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Marguerita Choy)