Five suffer injuries after chairlift malfunctions

Tussey Mountain closed today to conduct tests as precaution

BOALSBURG — A malfunction on a chairlift at Tussey Mountain Ski Resort on Saturday morning resulted in five people suffering injuries.

According to Tussey Mountain’s Facebook page, about 10 a.m., a malfunction occurred on a section of one of its chairlifts. A chair carrying skiers and snowboarders slipped along the haul rope and slid backwards into the chair behind it, which caused a domino effect that subsequently resulted in a total of four slipped chairs.

Tussey Mountain’s staff immediately stopped the lift from running and notified the ski patrol, which then contacted appropriate local emergency medical staff and began the process of evacuating individuals from the lift.

“Today was our opening day. Nothing like this had happened here before. There were some minor injuries — none serious; no youth were hurt. The worst was a broken jaw,” said Aaron Weyman, Tussey Mountain spokesman. “We are glad that no one fell off of the chair lift. We aren’t sure exactly how many, but there were a lot of people on the chair lift at the time.”

The equipment in question had been tested and given a passing grade by the state Department of Labor and Industry’s Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety Elevator Division.

“We have reached out to the manufacturers of the lift and state agencies. We need to find out what happened. We will look at every bolt and screw. We will get it fixed and reopen, but we are not exactly sure when. The police said our ski patrol people did a wonderful job. It was unfortunate. People have been understanding about it,” Weyman said.

Tussey Mountain will be closed today as a precaution to do more tests.

“We had planned to be closed Monday through Thursday and hope to reopen Friday,” Weyman said.