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Sunday 21 September 2014

'Whiteout' delays chairlift probe

Published 13/02/2013 | 08:36

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The chairlift at the Lecht ski centre in Aberdeenshire with one side of the lift hanging down

The company which runs a ski resort where five children and an adult were injured when a chairlift derailed has said it is "extremely upset" by the incident.

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In a statement published on its Facebook page, Lecht 2090 said it did not know what caused the malfunction at 3.25pm on Tuesday at Corgarff in Aberdeenshire.

An investigation is due to take place by the Health and Safety Executive and the chairlift, which is the only lift of its kind at the ski resort, is expected to remain closed for some time.

The statement read: "Some of you might know there was an incident with the chairlift this afternoon (Tuesday) where six people were injured. 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.

"The first response was to look after the injured. The rest of the skiers were then taken off the chairlift by the two Lecht teams within around one hour and 20 minutes.

"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."

A number of comments were left on the social networking site by people who said they had been present at the time of the accident, and they praised the work of rescue teams and the emergency services during the incident.

Five children and an adult were taken to hospital after the incident at the Lecht Ski Centre near Tomintoul. Three of the injured group were airlifted from the slope while the others were taken by ambulance. None were thought to be in a life-threatening condition.

Grampian Police, fire service and mountain rescue teams assisted with the rescue. A force spokesman said: "Inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the incident."

A spokeswoman for the Lecht centre said 36 other people who were stranded on the chairlift were rescued after the accident. She said: "We don't know the reason for the accident, however the Health and Safety Executive and the Lecht will be investigating the cause."

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