The installation of Snowbird’s new tram cabins was caught between a rock and a hard place Saturday after it apparently fell from a crane.
Because no injuries were reported and the cabin was not actually installed on the cable, it’s likely the incident will not be investigated by a state agency, according to officials from the Utah Labor Commission.
The new cabin is “damaged beyond repair” and thankfully no one was injured. https://t.co/hVCVxo97D1 pic.twitter.com/218GiDxMmg— Dave Amirault 🏳️🌈 (@ozskier) May 29, 2022
The resort would not elaborate on what happened to the cabin or how it fell beyond a prepared statement issued after the incident. Pictures and a time-lapse from the scene show the cabin falling from a Wagstaff crane, landing near — or possibly on — one of Snowbird’s old tram cabins.
An “equipment malfunction,” Snowbird said, occurred Saturday when Doppelmayr, an international ropeway and ski lift manufacturer, was installing the new cabin. Snowbird has advertised the new cabin design as “first of its kind in the United States,” featuring a rooftop balcony for summer operations and glass floor panels. They would replace the old cabins, which the resort says traveled about 794,994 miles over 50 years.
I asked @Snowbird whether it would be possible to run the tram with one or both of the old cabins this far into the upgrade project. They said they will be learning more in the coming days. Perhaps more likely is the new blue cabin and a counterweight like @resortalyeska did. pic.twitter.com/KxZ7bNT9qi— Lift Blog (@liftblog) May 29, 2022
“The incident occurred in a closed area at the base of the mountain and there were no injuries. An investigation is under way to determine where the malfunction occurred,” Snowbird said in a news release.
“One of the new cabins was damaged and Doppelmayr has indicated it will be replaced in time for the 2022-23 winter season. Doppelmayr is also working on a plan to have at least partial tram service operational for this summer.”
The Passenger Ropeway Safety Committee, under the Utah Department of Transportation, is responsible for inspecting Utah’s ski lifts and other aerial ropeways, like Lagoon’s Sky Ride. That includes any accidents that involve a chairlift or tram.
But because the cabin was not actually installed on the cable, and the preliminary investigation that would allow the cabin to go into service was not yet carried out, the committee will not be investigating.
Nor will the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division, which only investigates workplace incidents when injuries are reported.
Neither representatives from UDOT, the labor commission or Snowbird knew of any pending investigation. They say it will likely fall to Snowbird and Doppelmayr.
Both Doppelmayr and Wagstaff did not respond to requests to comment at the time of publication.