Canada cable car cord severed in 'likely sabotage'

Maya Oppenheim

Canadian police are investigating an apparent act of vandalism after a cord carrying cable cars was severed, sending all 30 of them crashing to the ground.

The company said the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, north of Vancouver, was not operating at the time of the incident, and that no guests or staff members were injured.

The attraction’s manager told Canadian broadcaster CBC that maintenance on the line had been recently carried out “and it was a big, thick, beautiful healthy rope”.

The firm said the incident took place at around 04.30 local time (11.30 GMT).

Police think an individual deliberately slashed the cables in the early hours of Saturday and say technical safety experts are now assessing the line.

“We believe the cables were cut and this was a deliberate act of vandalism,” Squamish RCMP Inspector Kara Triance told CBC. “At this time, it’s a crime scene.”

Inspector Triance said the person responsible placed themselves in “extreme jeopardy” if they had scaled a maintenance pole. She also noted the steel cable coming loose under tension would have been highly dangerous.

Police are asking visitors to steer clear of the area – including away from nearby trails. They have also urged any hikers, climbers, or campers who were in the area to get in touch with them.

The discovery was made when an employee heard a loud bang and went to investigate, finding that the haul rope had fallen (RCMP)

“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 Gondola takes passengers to almost 3,000 feet above sea level, giving views of Howe Sound, a network of fjords situated immediately northwest of Vancouver, and surrounding waterfalls. Each of the gondola cars is able to hold eight passengers

Additional reporting by agencies