Two skiers have been hospitalized after a pipe under their chairlift started blasting them with freezing water.
Horrifying videos from Beech Mountain Ski Resort in North Carolina show the lift carrying row after row of people through the icy stream. In one clip, a chair carrying two unfortunate skiers appears to get stuck directly over the broken pipe, which continuously drenches them.
The resort says the problem started after a skier crashed into a snowmaking hydrant, at which point the device started spraying customers – but the situation is under control now.
“On Friday, January 7, an uninjured guest skied into a water and air hydrant during snowmaking operations,” Beech Mountain Ski Resort told The Independent. “The hydrant was under a loaded chair, resulting in several patrons getting wet. Our operations and safety team worked diligently to unload the lift and drain the system safely. Avery EMS transported two patrons to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”
But according to customer Tim Williams, that may not be the full list of the injured. Mr Williams says he and his daughter witnessed the whole incident, and told WCNC he saw multiple skiers blown off their chairs by the water pressure.
Videos also appear to indicate that the weather at the resort was extremely cold, with the slope enveloped in nearly white-out conditions – not a good time to be sprayed with water.
Toward the end of one 14-minute video, emergency medical technicians can be seen tending to multiple skiers as the spray continues. Other customers stand around in the snow, their day clearly brought to a standstill.
Beech Mountain says it’s still open for business.
“We believe everyone is okay outside of the unfortunate situation, and operations are on a regular schedule,” the resort said.