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Ski lift gets stuck on Mt Hutt

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/08/2016

About 172 people have been evacuated from the Summit Six chairlift at Mt Hutt Ski Area using ropes after it broke down.

One of the chairs got stuck near the summit shortly before midday on Sunday. All the people were off the lift by 1.50pm.

The drama played out on the ski area's Facebook page.

"I'm stuck help," a skier posted and got 75 likes. ''We'll be with you shortly," the ski area replied.

Ski area manager James McKenzie told NZ Newswire it was a cold day and there was a strong wind at the top of the mountain.

"We have a T-seat people sit on and we lower them to the ground," Mr McKenzie said.

"We prioritised folks at the top of the mountain because they were more exposed."

He said it was the first time people had been evacuated from that lift on the field and the maximum height of the lift was 20m.

"We do have a procedure we can follow if a guest is not prepared to drop down, but we didn't have to use that," he said.

"Guests were amenable to what they were asked to do," he said.

The field is investigating what caused the problem on the lift.

The lift did not operate again and the field closed early because the wind got it.

There were about 1500 people on the field on Sunday,

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