HOT OFF THE WIRE

Canada cable car cord severed in likely act of sabotage, police say

Canada cable car cord severed in likely act of sabotage, police say

  • 11 August 2019
Image copyright RCMP
Image caption Police released a photo of the slack line and a car which fell only a short distance

Canadian police are investigating after a cable car gondola was sabotaged in an apparent act of vandalism.

Almost all of the 30 cars on the Sea-to-Sky gondola in Squamish, north of Vancouver, fell to the ground.

Police believe someone deliberately cut the cables in the early hours of Saturday.

The company said the incident happened at around 04:30 local time (11:30 GMT), when the line was closed, and no injuries were reported as a result.

The tourist attraction's manager told Canadian broadcaster CBC that maintenance on the line had been conducted recently "and it was a big, thick, beautiful healthy rope".

The rope is a multi-strand steel cable, 55mm (2.2 inches) across.

Police said that technical safety experts were assessing the line.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ordinarily, the Squamish gondola affords stunning views

Inspector Kara Triance told CBC experts would know the difference between a faulty cable and one that was cut deliberately.

She added that the person responsible put themselves in "extreme jeopardy" if they had climbed a maintenance pole – but also because the steel cable unravelling under tension would have been very dangerous.

"We recognise the potential of what could have been and are thankful that no one was injured," police said in a statement.

The Sea to Sky operator, meanwhile, says that the gondola is closed "for the foreseeable future".

Police are asking for any hikers, climbers, or campers who were in the area to contact them.

The gondola has 30 cars, each of which can carry eight passengers on the 10-minute ride to the top, 885m (2,900ft) above sea level.