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North Carolina Department of Labor investigating after water sprays, hospitalizes skiers on Beech Mountain

Resort officials said Avery EMS transported two people to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

BEECH MOUNTAIN, N.C. — Two people were hospitalized after multiple skiers on Beech Mountain were sprayed with freezing cold water on Friday after a water line seemingly broke, according to officials.

The North Carolina Department of Labor confirmed Sunday afternoon it is investigating the incident. 

A spokesperson for the department told WCNC Charlotte the Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau sent an inspector to Beech Mountain on Saturday. 

The investigation remains ongoing and no other information was made available on Sunday.

Tim Williams shared videos of the event with WCNC Charlotte, saying he and his daughter witnessed the whole thing. Williams said some skiers were blown off the lift as a result of the water pressure. 

"People were frantic. There were some people that tried to grab a snowboard and cover the water, but that did not work," said Williams.

He said people tried to help as freezing cold water sprayed into lifts.

“The problem was when they stopped the lifts, they stopped a chair directly above the water," said Williams, "When that happened, it was pretty hard to watch.”

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Cold weather conditions in the North Carolina mountains didn't help the situation. Emma LaPinto was at Beech Mountain Ski Resort for her birthday. She describes being thrown out of her lift from the water pressure. 

“All I can remember is seeing the metal bar that comes down just fly up, and I just remember seeing myself in the air," LaPinto said.

LaPinto said she has bruises all over her body and an air bubble in her chest.

“I was there for a good time," said LaPinto, "And then it was like my life in front of my eyes.”

In a statement from Beech Mountain Ski Resort, the resort said an uninjured guest skied into a water and air hydrant during snowmaking operations.

"The hydrant was under a loaded chair, resulting in several patrons getting wet," the resort said. "Our operations and safety team worked diligently to unload the lift and drain the system safely. Avery EMS transported two patrons to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. We believe everyone is okay outside of the unfortunate situation, and operations are on a regular schedule."

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