Over the weekend, the second chairlift detachment in five years occurred at a famous Australian ski resort.
7News Brisbane reports that on Saturday afternoon, a chair fell from the Kosciuszko Chairlift at Thredbo Resort. According to the ski resort, the cause of the detachment was a “freak gust of wind.” Around the time of the incident, there was a reported wind gust of around 65 kph/40.39 mph.
Three people were injured in the incident: two women in their twenties suffered back injuries, and one guy was treated for a facial injury. Two of the individuals were flown to Canberra Hospital, while another was taken to Cooma Hospital & Health Service. An investigation is currently underway by SafeWork NSW.
Opening back in 1990, Kosciuszko is Australia’s longest chairlift. The 33-year-old high-speed quad chairlift is used year-round, so it’s getting up there in age. According to 9 News, the accident occurred near the top station. After being closed for the rest of the afternoon on Saturday, the chairlift reopened on Sunday.
On Sunday, Thredbo released the following statement:
Thredbo has had its share of disastrous situations. Back in July 2019, a chair fell off the Gunbarrel Chairlift, which resulted in one person facing minor injuries. In 1997, a landslide destroyed two of their lodges and killed eighteen people.
Thredbo is well-liked by Australians and international tourists. It’s won Australia’s best ski resort by the World Ski Awards for the past five years. With this being the second incident in four years, the security of Thredbo is starting to increase. According to Anthony Sharwood, who is an acclaimed Australian author, many things about Thredbo need improvement other than the lifts.
As someone from the States who’s had to pay for the additional RFID cards, I concur with that observation.