US & Canada

Skiers hurt after chair lift derails in Maine

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Media captionSugarloaf resort officials say five chairs fell from the ski lift

Several skiers in the US state of Maine have been injured after falling up to 30ft (9m) on to a ski slope when a chair lift derailed.

Sugarloaf resort, which operated the chair lift on Maine's tallest skiing mountain, said half a dozen people had been hurt. Two were taken to hospital.

Witness Jay Marshall told reporters that the lift had stopped, started again and then he heard screams as skiers tumbled from their chairs.

"It was terrifying," Mr Marshall said.

"I looked to my left and could see the cable bouncing up and down. I could see that the cable had come off the [track wheels]."

Image caption Sugarloaf is a popular resort on the tallest peak used for skiing in Maine

The lift, which was carrying about 220 people, was evacuated. It is not clear if more people will be taken to hospital as a result of the derailment.

The resort, in Carrabassett Valley, said in a statement that none of the injuries suffered appeared to be life-threatening.

The cause of the lift malfunction, which caused five chairs to derail, is not yet known.

There were high winds at the time of the incident, following a blizzard in the region on Monday, the Associated Press news agency reports.

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