Multiple people at Beech Mountain Ski Resort were sprayed with water on a chairlift after a water line broke on January 7 around 5:30 p.m.
Beech Mountain Resort management stated an uninjured guest skied into a water and air hydrant during snowmaking operations. The hydrant was under a loaded chair, resulting in several patrons getting wet.
A guest of Beech Mountain Ski Resort who witnessed the event shared their first-hand account.
“We were actually coming down from the top of the mountain toward this lift when I heard a loud noise, and then right in front of me I saw high pressure water squirting up in the air,” the source said. “It happened really quick.”
The source estimated they were about 100 feet away from the incident.
“Several people went through the water,” the source said. “You could see parts of the lift. It was blowing the seat off; the wood seat was coming actually off. It was bad.”
Visitors of Beech Mountain rallied together to help the situation by assisting those affected by the accident.
“There were 50-100 people down there trying to help,” the source said. “People were trying to do everything they could.”
The source further said, “I don’t know what anybody could have done differently. Some people tried to grab a snowboard to cover the water. The pressure coming out of that thing was insane.”
Beech Mountain Resort management said in their statement, “Our operations and safety team worked diligently to unload the lift and drain the system safely. Avery EMS transported two patrons to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. We believe everyone is okay outside of the unfortunate situation, and operations are on a regular schedule.”
According to Ray’s Weather Center, the temperature got down to as low as 7 degrees Friday and remained in the single digits for most of the day in Beech Mountain.