Teen injured in ski chair mishap lapse | SierraSun.com

Teen injured in ski chair mishap lapse

A teenage boy was injured when a chair on the Echo ski lift fell to the ground last Friday at Northstar-At-Tahoe.

The chair became detached from the cable and fell just after lifting the boy from the loading platform. Members of Northstar’s ski patrol administered first aid at about 10:30 a.m. and Truckee paramedics transported him to Tahoe Forest Hospital, said Erin Bernall, communications manager for the resort.

The lift was stopped immediately while other passengers disembarked. Resort lift operators and maintenance teams investigated the device and deemed it safe to operate shortly afterward.

The chair itself is still being investigated to discern the cause of the mishap, Bernall said.

She added that the chairlifts are inspected daily, and once a year the state of California conducts a chairlift safety inspection. The faulty lift had been inspected in May, 2000, and it had passed all of its required tests.

The lift had been installed at Northstar in 1978.

Tahoe Forest Hospital doctors diagnosed the youth with a back injury. Later that day an ambulance transported him to the Roseville, Calif. hospital.

“The boy had been here with his family,” Bernall said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, neither Northstar nor hospital administrators were willing to release the boy’s age, hometown or his condition.

The resort acknowledges the swift and professional behavior of ski patrol and lift operations employees immediately following the accident. They express deep concern and extend their desire for the teenager’s complete and speedy recovery, according to Bernall.

This is the first such accident at Northstar in 28 years of operation, according to Bernall.

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