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'An extremely dangerous act': New report gives insight into Sea to Sky Gondola collapse
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2019 12:12PM PDT Last Updated Wednesday, September 18, 2019 12:57PM PDT
A Sea to Sky gondola lies on its side in the forest. The company that operates them in Squamish, B.C., said Monday that the damage could be millions of dollars.
A new report is giving more insight into the Sea to Sky Gondola collapse last month.
Technical Safety BC has completed its investigation, confirming there were no defects with the haul rope or its design that caused it to collapse on Aug. 10.
RCMP previously reported the cables of multiple gondola cabins were intentionally cut at the popular Squamish attraction.
"Our technical failure analysis has concluded that the haul rope wires were substantially cut while under tension," said Technical Safety BC's Jeff Coleman, director of risk and safety knowledge, in a news release. "Once a sufficient number of wire strands had been cut, the remaining rope segment yielded under the tension from the non-operating gondola."
About 30 gondola cabins fell to the ground, many of which were damaged beyond repair. The attraction was shut down indefinitely and approximately 75 staff members were laid off. The incident left many who had planned weddings there scrambling to find another venue. Gondola staff estimate it could take until spring to receive replacement cable and cabins that are being shipped in from Europe.
"Cutting the haul rope was an extremely dangerous act," Coleman adds. "The resulting tension overload that caused many of the individual steel wires and the rope to snap while being cut could have resulted in serious injury or even death to those involved."
Technical Safety BC is working closely with the RCMP in the investigation. Anyone with information on what happened is asked to contact the RCMP tip line at 604-892-6122 or to provide anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers.