Failed Sugarloaf lift was overdue for state-mandated load test

Posted Feb. 04, 2011, at 3:09 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 04, 2011, at 5:22 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The ski lift that failed at Maine’s Sugarloaf ski area in late December was more than three weeks overdue for a load test when a cable derailed, injuring eight skiers who fell to the ground below.

But the state had granted an extension to give Sugarloaf more time for the test, which is supposed to be conducted every seven years. Records from the Maine Elevator and Tramway Board show that the Spillway East chairlift last received a load test on Dec. 4, 2003.

Doug Dunbar of the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation said Friday that the lift was properly licensed and passed all annual inspections.

The chairlift remains closed during an investigation. Dunbar said that there will be extensive testing, including load tests, before the lift reopens.

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