Lecht reopens after chairlift accident

14th February 2013, by Abi Butcher

Skiers were airlifted to hospital after the chairlift derailed on Tuesday

Skiers were airlifted to hospital after the chairlift derailed on Tuesday

The Scottish ski resort of Lecht plans to reopen today after five children and an adult were hurt when a chairlift derailed earlier this week.

The accident happened at 3.25pm on Tuesday afternoon, when the slopes were full of families on half term, enjoying Scotland’s current good snow conditions.

Three of the six injured skiers were taken to hospital by Royal Navy helicopter, the other three by ambulance. None are thought to be serious. Another 36 people were stranded.

The area was closed yesterday due to a storm, but a spokesman for Lecht said the area will reopen today.

According to 15-year-old witness Calum Johnston, from Hatton of Fintray, one of the chairs caught in the cable.

“Then another one came up behind it and also got caught, then there was a third chair,” he said. “They were all bundled up together. I heard a crunch and, soon after, the cable released.”

The Health and Safety Executive in Scotland has now begun an investigation, and the lift is closed until further notice.

Lecht 2090, the company that runs the ski resort, said that after the injured had been taken away, the remaining skiers were rescued within an hour and 20 minutes.

In a statement on its facebook page the company said: “We are extremely upset that these people have been injured but as yet we don’t the cause of the problem with the chair. The chair will be out of action for a while but the rest of the lifts will be working as normal.”

Lecht 2090 is in the heart of the Cairngorms. It has 12 lifts, including the three-man chair involved and a magic carpet, over 20 pistes, including one black run, and the largest snow-making system in Scotland.

On Sunday, a ten-year-old girl was killed after crashing into a tree in Mayrhofen, Austria. Jemima Prees lost control on the last run of the day, while skiing with her father and brother. Our thoughts are with all involved.

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