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Seven injured in Sugarloaf chairlift mishap (+video)

Sugarloaf Mountain Resort says seven people were injured when a chairlift malfunctioned Saturday.

Sugarloaf Mountain Resort says seven people have been injured in a chairlift accident at the Maine ski resort.

Resort spokesman Ethan Austin says the resort believes none of the injuries sustained Saturday are life-threatening. Three of the injured were taken to a hospital for treatment.

About 200 people were riding the King Pine quad lift Saturday morning when the lift stopped, then went backward. 

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The King Pine lift evacuated Saturday after the accident around 11:30 a.m.

“All available mountain safety personnel are at the scene and working to evacuate guests on the chair,” Mr. Austin, said in an email early Saturday afternoon to the Bangor Daily News. “All guests with injuries have been treated by ski patrol and are being transported off the mountain.”

People tweeting from the scene described the lift suddenly rolling backwards and skiers having to jump off as it picked up speed.

In 2010 a chairlift cable derailed at Sugarloaf, reported the Bangor Daily News at the time:

The cable that the chairs were attached to derailed, sending five of those chairs crashing 25 to 30 feet to the ground. At least eight people, three of them children, were taken to a hospital during a busy vacation week at the resort 120 miles north of Portland. Dozens of skiers remained on the crippled lift for more than an hour until patrols could get them down.

Foster and Mitchell, both 21, were sitting side by side in a chair that remained suspended well above the slope.

“We were just a couple of lift poles back, behind them. Probably 15 or 20 [chairs behind],” Foster said. “The lift stopped a couple of times and then inched forward a couple of times. When we started to go, we felt some pretty intense vibration on the cable that wasn’t right. We were like, ‘Uh-oh. What the heck?’ We heard people down below saying, ‘The cable came off.’ We could kind of see a crowd gathering up ahead.”

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