About 80 passengers evacuated after ski lift breaks in Aspen

Some skiers and snowboarders who took to the High Country to enjoy recent snow had to make an unexpected stop on Wednesday. 9NEWS at 6 a.m. 12/24/15.

ASPEN - Some skiers and snowboarders who took to the High Country to enjoy recent snow had to make an unexpected stop on Wednesday.

About 80 passengers had to be evacuated from a ski lift in Aspen due to a mechanical error.

Aspen Skiing Co. Spokesman Jeff Hanle issued a statement about the situation on Wednesday afternoon.

"At approximately 11 a.m., the Tiehack Express lift on Buttermilk went offline due to an electrical issue. Lift Maintenance teams responded immediately and have been working to repair the lift and get the passengers unloaded. Unfortunately this repair is taking longer than expected and for the comfort and safety of our guests we decided to evacuate the lift. There are approximately 80 passengers on the lift and ski patrol teams have begun the process of getting the passengers safely to the ground. We have been in constant communication with the passengers and kept them informed on the issues and evacuation process. We ask that everyone please stay clear of the area as we will need space to safely conduct this operation. At the time of the incident, temperatures were in the low 20s, winds were light and skies were partly sunny. We will provide an update with more details after the evacuation has been completed."

Video footage posted on YouTube shows Ryan Gage, of New York City, being evacuated from the Tiehack Chairlift.

All passengers were safely evacuated by approximately 2:30 p.m.

(© 2015 KUSA)


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