Gudauri Ski Resort | At Least Eight Injured After Chairlift Malfunction in Georgia
There have been no casualties and only minor injuries, says Georgian Health Minister David Sergeenko
Shocking footage has emerged of a chairlift malfunction from Gudauri Ski Resort in the east of Georgia.
Initial reports suggest the incident has left between eight and twelve people injured, but thankfully, reports suggest, none seriously.
There have been no fatalities, and according to Georgian Health Minister David Sergeenko, one of the injured has already been released from hospital.
Sergeenko did say that two cases are still under observation though. He said: "Only two cases need to be monitored. One of the injured, a Ukrainian citizen, broke his hand during the incident, and has a small head injury, while a Swedish citizen is pregnant and feels pain in her waist."
"The reason for the malfunction is yet to be clarified, though some reports indicate a voltage fluctuation or brake issues may have been to blame"
The injured skiers and snowboarders were transported to the nearest hospital after the breakdown, with footage showing a chairlift spinning backwards at terrifying speed before launching skiers off the lift and out onto the snow.
A crowd was gathered, screaming and shouting, at the foot of the lift, and some skiers could be seen to be jumping off the lifts before they got to the chaotic pile up at the bottom as well.
The Mountain Resorts Development Company of the Ministry of Economy of Georgia have stated that they will be covering the expenses of all the treatment and of the transportation of those concerned.
The reason for the malfunction is yet to be clarified, though some reports indicate a voltage fluctuation or brake issues may have been to blame. A source who worked in the ski industry as a lift mechanic and in lift-building for 12 years has told us that a rollback - a failure of brakes and other counter devices - is most likely to blame.
The Ministry of Economy have stated that they have contacted the Austrian manufacturer Doppelmayr Garaventa group, however, asking for an explanation and requesting experts are sent immediately.
The Telegraph write: "An investigation to establish what happened has been launched under Article 275 of Georgia’s Criminal Code which deals with safety violations and the operation of railway, water, air or cable traffic movement."
We do warn that it is a disturbing watch.