CARRABASSETT VALLEY — A national expert says Maine’s Sugarloaf ski resort was the only ski area in the nation to have a serious lift malfunction involving injuries this season.

Seven skiers were injured when the King Pine quad lift at Sugarloaf began moving backward on busy Saturday in late March.

An investigation determined that the accident was caused by a broken drive shaft and a design flaw that failed to stop the lift from moving in reverse.

David Byrd, direction of risk and regulatory affairs with the National Ski Areas Association, told the Sun Journal that Sugarloaf was the only area nationwide to have a serious lift malfunction all season.

Before the March accident, only four areas nationwide in 10 years had lift malfunctions involving injuries, including one at Sugarloaf in 2010.

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