North Carolina skiers injured after water from damaged hydrant knocked them from chairlifts

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North Carolina skiers injured after water from damaged hydrant knocked them from chairlifts

Multiple North Carolina skiers were injured after they were knocked off a chairlift that was doused by water erupting from a damaged hydrant, as others jumped to avoid the same fate.

The dramatic scene unfolded Friday evening, when a skier ran into the water and air hydrant during snowmaking operations at Beech Mountain Resort, according to WSOC.

Highly pressurized water spouted dozens of feet into the air directly into the path of chairlifts bringing skiers up the mountain, video showed.

A college student celebrating her birthday with her best friend was violently ejected from the chairlift as it passed over the geyser, the article said.

“I’m in quite a bit of pain, mainly on my left side of my body. I have bruises from head to toe, some big, some small, like all over my body,” Emma Lopinto, 19, told the station, adding her friend suffered a possible spinal injury.

Multiple North Carolina skiers were injured after they were knocked off a chairlift that was doused by water erupting from a damaged hydrant, as others jumped to avoid the same fate.
Multiple North Carolina skiers were injured after they were knocked off a chairlift that was doused by water erupting from a damaged hydrant, as others jumped to avoid the same fate.
WCNC-TV

“We just grabbed each other and ducked our head and all I remember is the metal bar flying up and then me flying up. I don’t remember anything and I remember opening my eyes belly first on the ground,” Lopinto said.

Two women reportedly decided to jump to the ground below to avoid getting jolted and soaked in the cold water bursting from the pipe.

“Everyone was in shock. You’re not going to jump from 25 feet, if you don’t think you have to,” Ivy-Elise Ivey, one of several people that jumped, told the station.

Two women decided to jump to the ground below to avoid getting doused in the cold water bursting from the damaged pipe.
Two women decided to jump to the ground below to avoid getting doused in the cold water bursting from the damaged pipe.
WCNC-TV

“I’m in some serious pain, even with the medicine. I can’t dress myself. I can’t shower. I can’t drive. I can’t lift anything, and that hand my fingers aren’t working right,” Ivey reportedly said of her broken arm.

Workers at the resort said they did not tell skiers to jump, but the injured woman said they were unable to turn off the water right away, according to the outlet.

“As soon as we became aware of the problem, we took action as quickly as possible to shut off the water and assist the remaining skiers in disembarking at the top of the lift,” Beech Mountain reportedly said of its “difficult situation.”

Cold highly pressurized water spouted dozens of feet into the air directly into the chairlifts bringing skiers up the mountain.
Cold highly pressurized water spouted dozens of feet into the air directly into the chairlifts bringing skiers up the mountain.
WCNC-TV

Lopinto and one other patient were taken to the hospital by paramedics; Ivey took private transportation there, according to the article.

“I don’t want to put blame on anyone. I just want people to know it was a more serious event than I feel like is being said,” Lopinto told the station.

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