A windstorm was not in the forecast at Prato Nevoso ski resort in northern Italy on Monday, so officials were unprepared when one came up with a powerful force in the afternoon.
As soon as the windstorm hit, the resort immediately began unloading passengers from chairlifts but not quick enough. Wind gusts of up to 75 mph derailed the Red chairlift, leaving 130 skiers stranded, according to Yahoo News UK.
The video footage from the scene shows the crazy conditions skiers were forced to endure as the windstorm wreaked havoc with the Red chairlift.
The incident occurred just before 3 p.m., prompting a call to the CNSAS Piedmont, a mountain rescue team that sent 25 rescue workers to the scene. In calmer conditions, the rescuers began lowering the stranded skiers safely to the ground. Nobody was injured.
In a Facebook post, the rescue team thanked the victims for withstanding the extreme weather conditions without panicking.
Prato Nevoso said in a statement that the “whirlwind of exceptional magnitude” with gusts up to 75 mph was “inadequately reported by meteorological forecasts,” adding that when the “wind got up,” the technicians immediately planned to shut down the lifts.
“Unfortunately the derailment of the system disrupted normal operations” and prompted a rescue operation, which was “concluded quickly and without consequences for the involved skiers.”
The resort thanked the skiers for understanding and cooperating during “the delicate rescue operation.”
The resort was scheduled to reopen Wednesday.