RCMP suspect sabotage in Sea to Sky Gondola cable collapse

Credit to Author: Tiffany Crawford| Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2019 00:22:18 +0000

RCMP said Saturday they believe someone may have intentionally cut a cable on the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish after gondolas crashed to the ground early in the morning, causing significant damage.

No one was injured. RCMP say they are still assessing the damage but the early signs point to the cable being cut.

Squamish RCMP Const. Ashley MacKay says authorities are inspecting the full length of the cable.

The busy attraction was scheduled to open at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, but the company says that it will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

The Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish. Supplied

Ken Bailey, a spokesman for Sea to Sky Gondola, said at around 4:30 a.m., they received a report that the haul rope for the gondola had fallen and that the lift was “inoperable.”

He said no guests or staff were on the gondola and no injuries were sustained in the incident.

“There’s 31 cars on the line and we suspect that all of the cars are on the ground. They’re not elevated, but that does not mean 31 cars have been damaged.” Each of the 31 cars holds eight people.

Bailey said the extent of the damage is not yet known. “We haven’t been able to go up to the very top.”

Bailey said management is busy trying to figure out what happened and the company is doing what it can to assist the RCMP.

“This is something that happened less than 12 hours ago, so the long-term business planning is certainly not something that is a priority for us now.”

At approx 4:30am we received an alert that the haul rope for Sea to Sky Gondola had fallen and the lift inoperable. No guests or staff were on the gondola and no injuries were sustained in the incident. The gondola is currently closed. More updates as they become available.

Technical Safety B.C., which oversees all the tramways, gondolas, chairlifts, rope tows and passenger conveyors in B.C., and WorkSafeBC are also investigating.

Mounties in Squamish are investigating after the cable broke at Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish early Saturday morning and several cars crashed to the ground. No one was injured in this incident.  PNG

MacKay said Mounties were called to the area shortly after 8:45 a.m.

She said an employee working at the summit heard a loud bang and discovered the cable had broken.

“Our investigation is in the preliminary stages and the cause is undetermined,” said MacKay. “Right now we are looking at all possibilities, which includes those criminal in nature.”

The RCMP is requesting that people stay away from the region, including all the trails in the area.

Mounties in Squamish are investigating after the cable broke at Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish early Saturday morning. PNG

Kathryn McGuffickle, a spokeswoman for Technical Safety B.C., said safety officers have been sent to investigate.

“We’re unable to speculate on causes at this time, and will provide details once our investigation is complete. However, we can state that no injuries have been reported to Technical Safety B.C.,” said McGuffickle, in an email.

@Seatoskygondola indefinitely closed. No injuries. Significant damage. Updates to come. #squamish pic.twitter.com/MmjSeAJjXv

Bailey said it was too early to say whether the company’s plans for expansion and the 34-metre high tree walk would be put on hold.

Sea to Sky Gondola general manager Kirby Brown declined an interview Saturday. The company is referring all questions to the RCMP.

However, earlier he told the CBC that almost all of the 31 gondola cars attached to the cable fell to the ground, and that the cable line had recently been inspected and found to be in good shape. He speculated it may have been an act of vandalism.

According to Technical Safety B.C., there have been two inspections of the Sea to Sky Gondola so far in 2019. There was an inspection May 10 following the installation of a new clutch, and another on May 30 after the company added 10 carriers.

The agency says there were no significant safety hazards or technical failures identified in either inspection by the safety officer.

Photos of cars on the ground and detached cables from the sea to sky gondola's overnight collapse #squamish #gondola #seatoskygondola pic.twitter.com/oQlaUBhGvx

The Sea to Sky Gondola opened in May 2014 and carries between 1,500 and 3,000 guests each day during the summer on the trip that takes about 10 minutes to reach the top.


-with a file from The Canadian Press

A friend is telling me that the S2S gondola has collapsed at 4am last night. He says it looks like a cable broke. #Squamish #gondola

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