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No injuries in Whistler gondola collapse

Tue., Dec. 16, 2008, 7:21 p.m.

More than 50 people were evacuated from about 30 ski gondolas after a tower supporting the cables partially collapsed Tuesday at Canada’s Whistler resort.

Police said there were no serious injuries at the resort, which is to host the alpine events of the 2010 winter Olympic games. But health officials said five people had been taken to a hospital after the mid-afternoon accident.

While a crane was brought in to support the leaning tower, fire crews worked quickly to evacuate three cars that were the most in danger.

One of the gondola cars hit a bus shelter, while two more were left dangling before the broken tower.

It took more than three hours for fire crews and the mountain’s ski patrol to evacuate dozens of people stranded in about 30 gondola cars on the lift’s wire cable.

The resort said in a news release that 53 guests were evacuated and that the gondola section where the incident took place is about 30 feet above the ground. They said structural failure was to blame.


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