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Utah ski resort employee dies after tree severs chairlift cable

A 29-year-old Utah man died Monday after a fallen tree damaged the chairlift at the Park City ski resort where he worked.

The man fell from the lift chair into a ravine of deep snow, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Monday. Authorities identified him Wednesday as Christian Helger, according to NBC affiliate KSL-TV.

Investigators think a pine tree hit the cable behind Helger’s chair Monday morning, causing him to fall as chairs began to move up and down.

An aerial view of the chair lift accident scene at Park City Mountain in Utah, on Monday.KSL-TV

Authorities were called to the scene by ski patrol for an airlift at 11:25 a.m., but the man was unresponsive and lifesaving measures failed.

Deirdra Walsh, vice president of Park City Mountain Resort, confirmed in a statement that the man was an employee at the resort.

“The Park City Mountain team — as well as the entire Vail Resorts team — extend our deepest sympathy and support to the family and friends of our team member,” Walsh said. “We are all deeply saddened by this tragic incident, and we will be providing support for our employees as we grieve this devastating loss.” 

The Park City Mountain ski patrol safely rescued 10 others who were on the lift at the time of the incident.

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