An update this afternoon by Squamish RCMP on their investigation of the Sea to Sky Gondola collapse indicates the incident may have been act of foul play.
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“We believe the cables were cut and there was a deliberate act of vandalism,” said Insp. Kara Triance with Squamish RCMP during a press conference. “This is a crime scene and has been closed by police.”
A loud bang was heard in the area of the Sea to Sky Gondola just after 4 am Saturday, with gondola operators discovering soon after the downed gondola line and cabins. The gondola system was stationary, not in operation, at the time.
Triance said approximately half of the 30 cabins of the gondola line are on the ground. There were no injuries.
RCMP said they have been at the site of the incident since just before 9 am, and are leading the investigation in conjunction with the operators, Work Safe BC, Technical Safety BC, and Austrian manufacturer Doppelmayr, which is flying engineers to Vancouver to assist with the investigation.
Cst. Ashley MacKay noted efforts are being made to walk the gondola line so that it can be properly inspected.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to reach out to Squamish RCMP at 604-892-6100 or Crimestoppers’ anonymous hotline at 1-800-222-8477. This includes anyone who was in the area of the Squamish Chief and the gondola between 4 am and 9 am, including hikers, climbers, and campers.
“Please remember no detail is too small,” said MacKay, with Triance adding that “the trails in the area may have been used [by the perpetrators] to access the gondola line.”
Until further notice, trails in the vicinity of the gondola are closed to allow for the police investigation and ensure public safety.
The attraction first opened in the spring of 2014.
Each one-way gondola ride to an elevation 885 metres above the sea level of Howe Sound takes 10 minutes. It provides access to the summit’s sightseeing experiences, including viewing platforms, a suspension bridge, walking trails, and dining facilities at the summit lodge.