Technical Safety BC today released its technical investigation report into the August 10, 2019 collapse of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish. The report indicates there were no defects with the haul rope or the design of the gondola haul rope that contributed to its separation. The report concludes that the haul rope was deliberately cut, resulting in approximately 30 gondola cabins falling to the ground.
“Our technical failure analysis has concluded that the haul rope wires were substantially cut while under tension,” says Technical Safety BC’s Jeff Coleman, Director of Risk & Safety Knowledge. “Once a sufficient number of wire strands had been cut, the remaining rope segment yielded under the tension from the non-operating gondola.”
The result was the haul rope separating and approximately 30 gondola cabins falling to the ground, many of which were damaged beyond repair.
“Cutting the haul rope was an extremely dangerous act,” Coleman adds. “The resulting tension overload that caused many of the individual steel wires and the rope to snap while being cut could have resulted in serious injury or even death to those involved. Anyone close to the gondola when this occurred could have been seriously hurt or killed.”
Technical Safety BC President and CEO Catherine Roome said, “As part of our mandate to oversee the technical safety of passenger ropeways in the province, including gondolas, Technical Safety BC was part of a multi-disciplinary team investigating this incident. Our expertise enabled us to provide impartial technical analysis and advice, and we are now working closely with the RCMP to support their investigation.”
Technical Safety BC’s full incident investigation summary provides an overview of the incident, the scope of our investigation, and key technical findings. The report is available at: https://www.technicalsafetybc.ca/alerts/sea-sky-gondola-collapses-due-intentional-cut-haul-rope
Technical Safety BC (formerly BC Safety Authority) is an independent, self-funded organization that oversees the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates, it works with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research. For more information, visit www.technicalsafetybc.ca