A ski lift in the country of Georgia experienced a massive mechanical failure that appeared to dramatically increase its speed while going in reverse, which forced many of its passengers to jump before they were thrown into the air.
According to CNN, about 10 people were injured on Friday when the ski lift malfunctioned at a Gudauri resort, located in the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. Video of the incident shows the out-of-control lift fling passengers high into the air as their chairs were ripped from the lift’s railing. With more chairs racing down at a high speed, many passengers threw themselves into the snow to evade crashing into the pile of damaged chairs piling up at the bottom. Speaking to CNN, Yuri Leontyev of Belarus, who was on the ski lift during the malfunction, described the chaotic scene.
The horrifying incident is shown in the video above from ViralHog.com.
“The ski lift stopped and started going in reverse,” Leontyev, 32, told the news station. “We had to jump from it because at the bottom (of the hill) it was total trash and no chance to stay safe.”
Iryna Iadak, of Ukraine, told CNN that her chair paused momentarily before it spun in reverse.
“The movement of the lift stopped and a minute later we drove back,” Iadak said, adding that she was on the chair with her boyfriend. “The speed increased, it was out of control. The lift could not be stopped. People began to jump from different altitudes, panic began. Many did not manage to jump off and were thrown out from the impact.”
Ski patrol and a medical crew arrived at the scene to treat the injured, CNN said, and transported them to a clinic on the mountain.
The Telegraph reports that the producers of the ski-lift, the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group based in Austria, do not yet know the cause of the incident but are sending representatives to Gudauri.
Georgian health minister David Sergeenko told the Telegraph that of the injured, there are two cases they are primarily monitoring.
“One of the injured, a Ukrainian citizen, broke his hand during the incident, and has a small head injury,”Sergeenko told outlet. “While a Swedish citizen is pregnant and feels pain in her waist.”