Maine Ski Resort Investigates Lift Failure

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State inspectors have been dispatched to Maine's Sugarloaf ski resort to investigate the accident that injured nine skiers.

They want to know why a ski lift derailed on Tuesday, sending skiers plummeting as far as 30 feet into new-fallen snow.

"We haven't had a derailment of this magnitude in the 60 years Sugarloaf has been in operation," said Richard Wilkinson, vice president for mountain operations.

More than 200 skiers were trapped for several hours amid wind gusts of 30 to 50 miles per hour.

The resort's ski patrol scrambled to evacuate them, using a pulley system to lower skiers to the ground. A hospital spokeswoman said none of the injuries are life-threatening.

The lift went into service in 1975 and recently passed an inspection. Sugarloaf assured visitors that their lifts are inspected everyday.

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