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December 23, 2009
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Brake failure blamed for Wisc. ski lift accident

MADISON, Wis. - State officials say brake failure is to blame for a ski lift near Merrimac suddenly running backward, injuring at least 14 skiers and snowboarders.

But the Wisconsin State Journal reports it remains unclear why the brake failed at Devil's Head Resort Dec. 17.

State Department of Commerce spokeswoman Barbro McGinn said the agency ended its on-site investigation Monday and could release a report before Friday.

In a statement, commerce officials said significant mechanical failures are rare. It also said when failures occur inspectors will ensure all safety measures are addressed.

A statement from the resort's general manager, Joe Vittengl, on the resort's Web site says the lift will remain out of service until the investigation and repairs are complete.

The resort's nine other lifts are operating on a normal schedule.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal,

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The VailDaily Updated Dec 23, 2009 09:46PM Published Dec 23, 2009 09:44PM Copyright 2009 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.