'Whiteout' delays chairlift probe
Published 13/02/2013 | 08:36
Heavy snow has delayed an investigation into a chairlift accident which injured five children and an adult and left 36 people stranded.
A chairlift derailed at the Lecht ski centre at Corgarff, Aberdeenshire, on Tuesday, stranding skiers in freezing temperatures for more than an hour.
Officers from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) arrived at the centre on Wednesday but blizzards and road closures mean their investigation has been postponed until conditions improve.
A spokeswoman said: "The joint investigation with Grampian Police is under way, however due to the worsening weather conditions the investigation will not be carried out on site at present."
The company which runs the resort, Lecht 2090, said in a statement: "A major incident was called by the company to alert all the other emergency agents, who reacted quickly. The chair will be out of action for a while but the rest of the lifts will be working as normal.
"We are extremely upset that these people have been injured but as yet we don't (know) the cause of the problem with the chair."
Three of the injured group were airlifted from the slope and three others were taken to hospital by ambulance following the incident at about 3.30pm.
Two children have been released from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where a further two children and an adult are still being treated, said NHS Grampian. A fifth child is being cared for at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and all are said to be in a "satisfactory condition".
The Lecht centre said 36 people who were stranded on the chairlift were rescued in an operation led by Grampian Police and Braemar mountain rescue teams. It took around an hour and 40 minutes to remove the skiers from the slopes.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that officers would not be attempting to investigate on Wednesday due to "whiteout" conditions.