Four people have been seriously injured after a chairlift plunged to the ground in central Switzerland. Two of the victims have life-threatening injuries.
The accident happened on Thursday evening in the Alpine ski area of Stoosexternal link-Fronalpstock just after 10pm. The chairlift was taking ten people home after a private business event, as had been planned.
Investigations have so far shown that the accident was "in connection with a stretched out winch cable for a piste vehicle. The four-person chairlift collided with the cable during its descent and as a resulted plunged ten metres", an updated police statement said on Friday morning.external link
"Just how this situation could have occurred is part of the ongoing investigation," it added.
A 33-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man have life-threatening injuries. Two men aged 33 and 38 have serious injuries. They were taken to hospital in emergency helicopters.
Six people who were in the two following chairlifts were rescued by the emergency services and were uninjured.
A large rescue operation was carried out, which included four emergency helicopters.
The Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board (STSB) will be involved in investigating the cause and circumstances of the accident, as well as the local investigating magistrate.
The chairlift will remain out of operation until further notice.