6-year-old girl dies after accident on T-bar at Quebec ski resort

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Investigation is underway to understand circumstances of the ski lift accident

Quebec provincial police are investigating the death of a six-year-old girl following an accident at the Val Saint-Côme ski hill Sunday morning in the Lanaudière region, north of Montreal.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) confirmed Monday morning that the incident occurred while the girl was using a T-bar lift to ascend the hill around 9:30 a.m. 

She was taken to hospital in critical condition, where she was later pronounced dead. 

“We don’t know exactly if she falls, if the T-bar was broken or something, so that’s why the investigation is ongoing this morning,” said SQ spokesperson Geneviève Bruno.

“The forensics are there with the investigators to try to find out exactly what happened.”

Speaking to reporters at the ski hill Monday, president and CEO of the ski resort François Gagnon said the entire Val Saint-Côme family is grieving.

“All of our thoughts are with the family and friends,” Gagnon said, adding a support program was immediately put in place for workers who were shaken by Sunday’s events. 

Gagnon said an internal investigation is underway to understand the circumstances of the accident. He said the ski resort is also co-operating with the police investigation. 

In a tweet, Quebec’s association of ski resorts said “the whole industry is struggling today.”

Caroline Proulx, who is the minister responsible for the Lanaudière region, expressed her condolences for the young girl’s family and said the investigation will “shed light on this tragic event.” 

According to Radio-Canada, a spokesperson for the ski resort said, based on preliminary findings, “there is no indication that a mechanical failure was involved.”

The mountain was closed for evening skiing on Sunday but reopened at 9 a.m. Monday. The lift where the accident occurred will remain closed for the time being.