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At Least 10 Hurt In Bizarre Ski-Lift Incident At Georgian Resort

Destroyed ski-lift chairs after the incident.

At least 10 people have been injured in a harrowing incident at a ski resort in Georgia, with some skiers thrown far from their chairs as a lift cable sped backward at high speed.

Video footage from the Gudauri resort on March 16 showed desperate skiers jumping from the lift as it hurtled downhill or being flung through the air when their chairs spun around the wheel at the bottom.

A senior Health Ministry official, Avtandil Talakvadze, told reporters that the injured people included Russians, Ukrainians, and a pregnant Swedish woman.

He said seven of the injured were taken to hospitals in Tbilisi.

Health Minister David Sergeenko said earlier that a Ukrainian citizen sustained an open fracture of the hand and that the Swedish woman was suffering sharp back pain.

The Interior Ministry said it launched an investigation into the incident.

Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitri Kumisishvili, who came to the ski area, said all those found to have been responsible will be "severely punished."

Georgian Ski Federation Vice President Eka Gabashvili told RFE/RL that rescue teams worked in a highly professional manner, and praised skiers and snowboarders for not panicking.