The Prosecutor's Office of Georgia has filed charges against two operators of the Mountain Resorts Development Company in the Gudauri ski-lift accident on March 16, 2018 which left 11 people with minor and moderate injuries.
The investigation carried out by the Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed that the ropeway located on the Sadzele slope of Gudauri, in Kazbegi municipality, was stopped due to a drop in electricity voltage. The individuals responsible for the safety and operation of the ropeway, which are the employees of the Mountain Resorts Development Company, violated the rules of operation of the ropeway and failed to ensure its safe management, as a result of which the passengers of the ropeway received serious and less severe health injuries'', reads the press-release published by the Prosecutor's Office.
The inspection results of international experts published back in 2018 who were invited by the government to study the incident also say that based on the records from a memory device installed on the equipment, it was determined that on March 16, there was a voltage drop, which stopped the ski-lift.
However, after the ski-lift stopped, the operator should have turned on a nearby diesel generator to bring skiers to a point from where they would have been able to get off and vacate the ski-lift”, reads the inspection results.
The two operators face from two to five years in prison if convicted.
To recall, on March 16 the ski-lift on the Sadzele slope of Gudari began moving in reverse. Many of the passengers jumped down themselves to avoid collision. Nearly half of the injured tourists, who were from Georgia, Ukraine, Russia and Sweden, were discharged the same day of the incident as they suffered only minor injuries.