Theories on Quicksilver accident all under investigation
The investigation into the Quicksilver lift accident is expected to take another one to two months but new theories as to the cause of the accident are coming forward.
Dynamic testing of the lift is underway and will follow specific protocols for 12 different tests, including swing test, pull test, peel test, metallurgy test and detailed examination of all operational records of the lift.
Dr. Peter Gordon, the coroner who is leading the investigation, says a number of theories are being considered and nothing has been dismissed. One of the theories he will be looking at has been put forward by Shane Bennett, a layman but an interested observer.
Bennett suggests the cable may have become twisted through the attachment of chairs. If each chair was a degree or two off of vertical when it was attached it could result in a significant twist of the cable. That twist could add another dynamic load to the cable. If that twist was suddenly released it could cause the grip on a chair to fail, Bennett believes.
Gordon says Bennett has talked to him about his theory but it hasn’t been scheduled into discussions yet.
"Given the proper time to get together with (the people involved in the investigation) we will consider it," Gordon says. "We have been given other theories as well, and we haven’t dismissed anything."
Four chairs on the Quicksilver lift fell to the ground on Dec. 23. Two people died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident and one person remains paralyzed. The lift has not operated since the accident and will not be considered for operation until the cause of the accident has been determined.
Meanwhile, Whistler Mountain says it remains strongly committed to the Creekside base and is continuing to operate Creekside facilities and to provide shuttle bus service from Creekside to the Whistler Village Gondola between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends and between 7:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.