Canadian police said gondola cables were cut deliberately on Saturday in Squamish, British Columbia, which sent cars crashing to the ground.
“We believe the cables were cut and this was a deliberate act of vandalism,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Inspector Kara Triance. “At this time, it’s a crime scene,” she added.
In a news release, the RCMP said employees at the Sea to Sky Gondola noticed that a cable and several of the cars were down early Saturday morning. The crew then alerted the police to the situation.
Reports said that nearly 30 of the gondola cars crashed down a steep slope due to the severed cables. Police canvassed the area in search of witnesses to the event and told visitors to avoid the area during the investigation.
The company’s website stated that at “approximately 4:30 am on Saturday, August 10, 2019, 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 on the gondola and no injuries were sustained in the incident.”
The company’s gondola rides take passengers almost 3,000 feet above sea level to see views of Howe Sound and nearby waterfalls.
“The Sea to Sky Gondola is CLOSED for the foreseeable future due to a major lift incident. We will release updates as more details become available,” the website said.
However, company manager Kirby Brown told reporters that they had recently done maintenance on the cable line.
“It’s just an incredibly unusual thing to happen,” he commented. “We just did our maintenance on the line very recently and it was a big, thick, beautiful healthy rope,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of hours ahead of us of really coming to grips with what occurred before we get focused on the fix.”