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Friday March 16, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The lift in Georgia started rolling backwards, then accelerated & became out of control. It was utter carnage, but amazingly no-one was seriously injured.





A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort has left twelve people with minor injuries.

The accident took place on Friday,16 March 2018.

PlanetSKI contacted the lift manufacturer, Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH, for more detail on the possible cause of the rollback that caused mayhem and panic

The following statement was provided on Sunday morning.

"We hope that the injured persons are getting better and wish get well soon!!! This is the most important point at the moment.

The cause of the accident is not known yet. But we can state the following facts:
· The lift is a 4seater fixed grip chairlift and was buildt in 2007 by Doppelmayr.
· Doppelmayr specialists are in Gudauri since Saturday morning.
· We are not allowed to access the site because it is closed by the authorities
· We support authorities and customer extensively
· Presumptions and hypothesis of the potential cause(es) are nonserious at the moment
· As soon as we have more facts and approval of the authorities we will inform accordingly"

Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH

The Rollback at Gudauri - what happened on Friday?

The lift started going backwards, picked up speed and was quickly completely out of control.

People were leaping off the lift to get clear and those that didn't were flung off it.

Bystanders were quick to capture the scene on their mobile phones.

Watch the carnage in the videos below:

No fatalities or serious injuries occurred.

Among the injured were skiers from Sweden and Ukraine. 

English voices can be heard in the videos though it remains unclear if any people from the UK were hurt.

One of the eight injured has already been discharged from hospital, the Georgian Health Minister David Sergeenko told the media earlier in the morning.

"Only two cases need to be observed. One of the injured, a citizen of Ukraine,  has broken a hand during the incident, and has a light injury on the head, while another, a citizen of Sweden, is pregnant and feels pain in the waist.” 

Unbelievably most of the affected individuals had minor injuries.

Those injured were transported to the local hospital by three emergency brigades.

It is unclear what caused the incident.

The Ministry of Economy stated that they have already contacted the ski-lift producer, Austrian Doppelmayr Garaventa group for immediate advice and to send experts to clarify the reasons for the malfunction.

An investigation to establish what happened has been launched under Article 275 of Georgia’s Criminal Code which deals with safety violations and the operation of railway, water, air or cable traffic movement.

Marina Freckle, posted the following video on Instagram.

English voices can be heard distinctly in the background urging skiers to 'jump off' the chairlift."

Yuri Leontyev posted the video on Istagram showing skiers and snowboarders leaping off the moving chairlift, as it hurtled backwards towards the loading point.

Most were still wearing their sks.

A post shared by Yuri Leontyev (@yuri_leontyev) on Mar 16, 2018 at 4:29am PDT

Irene Ladak posted the following short clip on Instagram showing the devestation after the chairlift was stopped.

The clip also shows a person still trapped beneath one of the derailed chairs, though is being attended to by medics.

A post shared by ireneiadak (@ireneiadak) on Mar 16, 2018 at 1:54am PDT

Mangled chair lift - GeorgiaMangled chair lift - Georgia (photo: Yuri  Leontyev - Instagram)




















Mangled chair lift - GeorgiaMangled chair lift - Georgia
















Much to the confusion to the skiers at the top of the mountain, the short clip captured below shows the chairlift going backwards at the chairlift's usual drop-off point.

Check back for updates as more information emerges.

Roll Back in 2015:

A similar roll-back happened in 2015 at Sugarloaf Mountain, in west Maine US, but it was swiftly arrested.

Rollback Effect:

A chairlift rollback test was undertaken in the past (this one took place on 18 June 1990).

Its destructive effects can be seen in the video below as the machinery becomes uncontrollable.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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