Failed Sugarloaf chairlift reopens

Posted Feb. 21, 2011, at 6:21 p.m.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — A chairlift that caused eight injuries when it failed in December is back in operation at a Maine ski resort.

Sugarloaf reopened the Spillway East lift Monday afternoon after the lift passed a load test Friday and additional weekend tests. General Manager John Diller says officials are “confident that it will provide the reliable transportation that our guests expect.”

Eight people were treated at hospitals on Dec. 28 after a lift cable popped out of place, causing five chairs to plummet 25 to 35 feet to the ground.

The Maine State Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety hasn’t issued its report on the cause.

It was the worst lift-related accident in the 60-year history of Sugarloaf, which is located 120 miles north of Portland in Carrabassett Valley.