8 injured as ski lift hurls passengers in the air

Ski lift malfunction sends people flying

GUDAURI, Georgia -- Shocking video emerged Friday of a malfunctioning ski lift hurling skiers off their chairs in the republic of Georgia. The lift appeared to be running at an abnormally high speed, throwing some skiers off their chairs as they came around the wheel at the bottom of the lift.

Broken chairs started piling up near the bottom of the lift but the cable continued spinning for some time. As some skiers saw the mangled chairs at the bottom of the lift on their way down and managed to jump off in time, dangling first by their hands until they deemed it safe to let go.

It happened at the Gudauri ski resort in the Caucasus mountains, near the border with Russia.

According to the Georgian Minister of Health, Labor and Social Affairs, Davit Sergeenko, a total of eight people were taken to a hospital in Gudauri, but one was quickly discharged.

ski-lift.jpg
At least 8 people were injured when a ski lift malfunctioned in Gudauri, Georgia. REUTERS /USC

"Fortunately, there are no casualties or serious injuries," Sergeenko was quoted as saying by local media. 

Only two of the injured skiers were said to be non-Georgian: one Ukrainian and one Swiss national.