Several North Carolina skiers were injured after falling from a chairlift that was drenched by water gushing from a damaged hydrant, while others jumped to avoid the same fate.
The dramatic scene unfolded Friday night, when a skier ran into the mouth of water and air during snowmaking operations at Beech Mountain Resort, according to WSOC.
Highly pressurized water shot up dozens of feet into the air directly into the path of the ski lifts that carried skiers up the mountain, the video showed.
A college student celebrating her birthday with her best friend was violently ejected from the chairlift as she passed over the geyser, according to the article.
“I have a lot of pain, mainly on the 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 that her friend suffered a possible spinal injury.
“We just hold on to each other and put our heads down and all I remember is the metal bar flying up and then me flying. I don’t remember anything and I remember opening my eyes with my belly on the ground first, ”said Lopinto.
Two women reportedly decided to jump to the ground to avoid shaking and get wet in the cold water gushing 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 who jumped, told the station.
“I have serious pain, even with the medicine. I can’t dress myself. I can’t take a shower. I can’t drive I can’t lift anything, and that hand, my fingers aren’t working right, ”Ivey said of his broken arm.
Workers at the complex said they did not tell the skiers to jump, but the injured woman said they could not turn off the water immediately, 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 help the remaining skiers disembark at the top of the chairlift,” Beech Mountain reportedly said of their “difficult situation.”
Lopinto and another patient were taken to the hospital by paramedics; Ivey took private transportation there, according to the article.
“I don’t want to blame anyone. I just want people to know that it was a more serious event than what I feel is being said, ”Lopinto told the station.