UNION DALE, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Nearly 200 skiers and snowboarders had to be rescued from a lift at Elk Mountain Ski Resort over the weekend.

It happened Sunday, but Monday night, Eyewitness News is learning more and speaking to an eyewitness. It’s an experience no skier or snowboarder wants to endure, being forced to repel from a ski lift.

“It was a pretty good day, everything seemed normal and I noticed the lift was stopped and people are sitting there. I started to ski and continued to do my thing. I noticed the line started to build up at the bottom,” skier Austin Banks of Mountain Top said.

Banks was an eyewitness from the ground, watching as the ski patrol executed a rescue mission on one of the experienced trails called “Tunkhannock.”

“They did a good job. Immediately they started throwing ropes over the lift lines to have people propel down off the lift. They really acted quickly,” Banks said.

No one was injured. Resort management tells Eyewitness News, Lift Six, a quad chair lift, had an un-discovered problem at first which prompted the quick evacuation. It was later determined to have a gear box issue, shutting down the lift while the patrol team handled the rescue.

Instructors helped get less experienced guests to the bottom of the mountain.

“It was quite neat to watch because you see things online of lift malfunctions happening and you wonder in person, you know this would be quite crazy to see and I was there and got to witness it,” Banks said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will not comment on the investigation. According to its website, four of six lifts have yet to be inspected this season. Lift Six was last inspected January 2021.

Inspections by the state are done periodically. On average since 1994, inspection renewals at Elk Mountain are completed every nine to 13 months.

Lift Six is expected to be open sometime next week. All other lifts are up and running. Management tells Eyewitness News guests who were evacuated from the lift have been compensated for their lift ticket on Sunday.