08/11/2019 00:05 EDT

Squamish Gondola Collapse May Have Been Intentional: RCMP

The gondola wasn't in operation when its cars came tumbling down early Saturday.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press
A gondola car rests on its side on the mountain after a cable snapped overnight at the Sea to Sky Gondola causing cable cars to crash to the ground below in Squamish, B.C., Sat. Aug. 10.

SQUAMISH, B.C. — Police believe someone may have intentionally cut a gondola cable at a tourist attraction in Squamish, B.C., sending several unoccupied cabins to the ground early Saturday.

RCMP say they’re still assessing the damage, but early signs point to the Sea to Sky Gondola cable being cut.

Spokeswoman Const. Ashley MacKay says authorities are working to inspect the full length of the gondola line.

Earlier: RCMP say bodies believed to B.C. murder suspects found in northern Manitoba. Story continues below.


MacKay says an employee working at the summit heard a loud bang and discovered the fallen cabins.

She says the gondola wasn’t operating at the time and nobody was injured.

Gondola spokesman Ken Bailey says the company will do what it can to help police in their probe.

As of the early afternoon, he noted, the extent of the damage was not known because cloud cover obscured parts of the gondola’s route.

“There’s 31 cars on the line and we suspect that all of the cars are on the ground. They’re not elevated. But that does not mean that 31 cars have been damaged.”

Bailey said right now, management is too busy trying to figure out what happened to consider what the future holds for the gondola.

“This is something that happened less than 12 hours ago, so the long-term business planning is certainly not something that is priority for us right now,” he said. 

The Sea to Sky Gondola officially opened in May 2014 and when in operation, it takes around 10 minutes to reach an elevation of 885 metres above Howe Sound.

Between 1,500 and 3,000 guests visit the gondola each day during the summer season, Bailey said.

Each cabin holds up to eight people.

RCMP are requesting that people stay away from the area, including nearby outdoor trails, and the gondola remains closed.