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Chair-lift accident kills one, injures three

A German tourist was killed and three others injured when chairlifts carrying skiers fell to the ground in an accident near the ski resort of Grindelwald.

This content was published on January 3, 2008 - 15:21

A spokeswoman for the operator, Jungfrau Railways, said the accident took place on the Kleine Scheidegg pass at about midday on Thursday on the Fallboden lift.

A German man died and a German woman suffered serious injuries in the accident. The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but the official in charge of the investigation said a cable apparently jumped off a guidewheel at one of the chairlift's support towers that rise up to 14 metres from the slopes. An Australian man and woman also suffered injuries.

Mountain rescue officials said the remaining 75 passengers still on the chairlift had to be evacuated from the ground as high winds made the use of helicopters too dangerous.

The national weather centre said winds reached speeds of 90 kilometres per hour when the accident occurred on the Kleine Scheidegg pass above Grindelwald, one of Switzerland's best-known tourist destinations.

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