Gondola tower collapses at Whistler
At least a dozen passengers are trapped inside two dangling gondolas
updated 15 minutes ago
WHISTLER, British Columbia - At least a dozen passengers are trapped inside two gondolas after a tower partially collapsed at Canada's Whistler ski resort on Tuesday.
Police said there were no serious injuries, but the passengers are stranded as emergency officials work out a plan to evacuate them from the gondolas on the Excalibur lift.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Steve Wright said the fire department is trying to reach the skiers and snowboarders on the dangling
gondolas, which are attached to a long wire cable.
"They have their ladder trucks now, they're just setting up," Wright said. "We have victim services here with some of the families that have people on the gondolas."
Wright said a third gondola was left resting on top of a bus shelter at the base of the mountain.
"No gondolas have fallen. It's just the tower has collapsed partially. The line has sagged
," Wright said. "That's why right now we only have two gondola cars affected."
Wright said there doesn't appear to be any danger of the gondola support falling further and that a truck is supporting the collapsed tower.
Six ambulances and an air ambulance were dispatched after the accident, which happened around 2:30 p.m. Four ambulances and the air ambulance remain on standby at the scene.
Health officials say at least three people have been taken to the hospital.
Wright said the accident took place near Fitzsimmons Creek, between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
The resort will play host to the alpine events at the 2010 Winter Games.
This breaking news story will be updated.
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