Gondola cable seems to have been cut, say Squamish RCMP


Over 200 people who work at the Sea to Sky gondola face an uncertain end to summer after the cable of the gondola, located along Highway 99 in Squamish, B.C., was deliberately cut, closing the major tourist destination for the foreseeable future.

In a statement, the gondola's operators said they learned about the collapse of the cable, technically known as the haul rope, at about 4:30 a.m., when "we received an alert that the haul rope for Sea to Sky Gondola had fallen and the lift was inoperable".

No guests or staff were riding the gondola during the incident in Squamish, British Columbia, according to a post on the attraction's website.

Spokeswoman Const. Ashley MacKay says authorities are working to inspect the full length of the gondola line.

"This is something that happened less than 12 hours ago, so the long-term business planning is certainly not something that is priority for us right now", Bailey said.

The gondola, which wasn't operating at the time, normally carries up to 240 passengers at a time on its 30 cars.

Some of the cable cars fell into a nearby forest. Police don't believe there is anyone in the backcountry area, accessed by the gondola, who need assistance getting out.

CBC said the damage was estimated at more than C$1m (£634,000). "However, we can state that no injuries have been reported to Technical Safety BC", said McGuffickle, in an email.

Bailey said it was too early to say whether the company's plans for expansion and the 34-metre high tree walk would be put on hold.

On Saturday, nearly all of the 30 gondola cars that were attached to the cable came crashing to the ground, staff told CBC News.

"You can imagine that a disruption like this might have an impact but I don't want to speculate", she said, adding that the Sea to Sky team is working with suppliers to determine a timeline for repairs.

The act of vandalism resulted in $1 million in property damage.

The cable was cut about halfway up the route and "it would be very technical and precarious to get to", MacKay said in a statement. The Sea to Sky Gondola takes passengers to nearly 900 meters above sea level, providing views of Howe Sound and surrounding waterfalls.

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