Snowbowl chair

A chair from the Lavelle lift to the upper part of Snowbowl lies in the snow Wednesday after catching on the lift and becoming separated. Several dozen people were evacuated from the lift. No injuries were reported.

Several dozen people were evacuated from the Lavelle chairlift at Montana Snowbowl Wednesday after an empty chair separated from the cable.

The fixed-grip chair to the upper part of Snowbowl had just swung around the bull wheel after unloading two skiers when it caught on part of the lift and tore away from the cable.

"This is ugly," a maintenance worker was heard saying.

People, some of them in chairs as high as 30 feet off the ground, were evacuated by ropes and harnesses. No one was injured, either when the chair separated, or during the evacuation.

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A portion of the cable was frayed after the chair ripped completely out of the cable.

In 2011, a double-seat chair struck a lift operator in the loading zone, causing the chair to swing off the Lavelle chairlift cable and land in the snow. 

This story will be updated.