Early this morning, between 4:00 and 4:30 am, 30 gondola cars of the Sea-To-Sky gondola crashed to the ground after the cable they were attached to snapped.
The gondola wasn’t in operation at the time. Nobody is believed to have suffered any injuries.
The cable, also called the “haul rope”, consists of six strands that total into a diameter of 55 millimetres.
Discussing the incident, Kirby Brown, General Manager of Sea-To-Sky, was uncertain of what could have caused the cable to snap.
“What we do know at this point is not a ton, other than there was a catastrophic failure of the haul rope, so that’s the cable that the gondola is on. We inspected it last week, it was in great shape. […] We had a great day operating yesterday, there was nothing extraordinary about the temperatures or anything environmental that could have caused this.”
One possible explanation: vandalism.
Brown said the RCMP are investigating the incident as a possible act of vandalism.
In addition, nearby trails in the area have been closed. In a news release, Squamish RCMP are requesting that people stay away from the area until further notice.
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Located in Squamish near Highway 99, the Sea-To-Sky gondola carries passengers over 885 metres above sea-levels.
Update: August 10th, 4:15 pm:
Squamish RCMP has since confirmed that the incident was the result of vandalism.
“We believe the cables were cut and this was a deliberate act of vandalism”, said Inspector Kara Triance.
Stay tuned for more updates.
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