Ski lift mishap in Pocheon causes many skiers to jump
The lift going to the peak of the resort's advanced course suddenly stopped around 3 p.m. and chairs started sliding backwards at a high speed.
Some passengers who saw the chairs colliding near the terminal promptly detached their equipment and jumped.
Many onlookers close to the terminal tried to alert others on the chairlift who had not looked back, shouting at them to jump off.
Some who jumped but couldn't escape the slope right away stayed low so as not to get their head hit by any descending chairs. Some who jumped fell on top of others. Videos capturing the chaotic moment were uploaded on social media that day.
One 7-year-old was moved to a hospital for mild bruises from jumping off the chairlift with others. The resort said no other report has been made for serious injuries.
After the lift was stopped, the fire department officials decided it would be difficult to operate the lift again. Officials rescued about 100 skiers that were left in the hanging chairs and the resort stopped all other lifts and evacuated everyone on the slopes by 5:13 p.m.
The Pocheon Police precinct in Gyeonggi is investigating the cause of the accident. The Korea Transportation Safety Authority is also checking the condition of all other lifts in the resort, according to a Bears Town communications official.
“It is still unclear what caused the accident and the resort will cooperate with the police,” said the official.
Although details on compensation have yet to be announced, the resort is collecting information on any injuries and damages. It has set up a hotline with a phone number and email address on its website for those who want to report injuries or missing or damaged ski gear. It is also issuing refunds to those who hold a seasonal pass, for any who wish to do so.
“We sincerely apologize to everyone who suffered damages from the lift accident and their families, and we are apologize to everyone who was shocked with the news,” said the resort. “We will work with the related authorities to do a safety check and will do our best to make the resort a safe place to ski.”
BY LEE SUN-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]