Three people have been injured in the New South Wales snow fields when their chairlift seat detached and fell to the ground metres below.
The group of snowboarders were on the Kosciuszko chairlift about 2.20 on Saturday afternoon when a strong wind gust caused their chair to disconnect from the cable, sending them plunging into the snow.
Video of the incident, provided to the Sunday Telegraph, shows emergency services workers working on the group as they lie in the snow.
NSW Ambulance says two women aged in their 20s were treated for back injuries, while a man in his 20s was treated for a facial injury.
The two women were taken to Canberra Hospital via helicopter and while the man was taken to Cooma Health Service.
A Thredbo spokesperson said it was caused by a “freak gust of wind.”
“There were no major injuries caused, and the three guests involved are being looked after by the team,” the spokesperson said.
“No other guests or chairs were affected. Thredbo is committed to the safety of our guests and our people. The incident is currently being thoroughly investigated by SafeWork NSW and an independent engineer.”
The Bureau of Meteorology recorded wind gusts in the area on Saturday afternoon at about 65km/h.
The Kosciuszko chairlift is the longest operating ski lift in Australia, at nearly 2 kilometres, and has not been refurbished since 1990, when it was upgraded from two seats to four.