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Failed Maine Ski Lift Was Due For Load Test

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The lift that failed at a Maine ski area in late December was more than three weeks overdue for a load test when a cable derailed, injuring eight skiers.

But the state had granted an extension to give the Sugarloaf resort more time for the test, which is supposed to be conducted every seven years. Records from the Maine Elevator and Tramway Board show that the Spillway East chairlift last received a load test on Dec. 4, 2003.

Doug Dunbar of the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation said Friday that the lift was properly licensed and passed all annual inspections.

The chairlift remains closed during an investigation. Dunbar says there will be extensive testing, including load tests, before the lift reopens.