While we in North America were sleeping, a serious lift incident unfolded in the Caucasus Mountains, where Europe and Asia meet. Videos posted to YouTube and Facebook show a Doppelmayr fixed-grip quad picking up speed in reverse and chaos ensuing on an already crowded powder day. Any riders who didn’t jump were thrown from the lift at the drive bullwheel or pinned between mangled chairs. Georgia’s Ministry of Economy says eight people sustained non life-threatening injuries.
Another picture shows chairs piled up after the lift came to a stop on what would normally be the arrival side of the drive station. Some grips held on while others were ripped from the haul rope after going around the bullwheel.
From looking through Doppelmayr Worldbooks, I believe the lift in question is called Sadzele, built in 2007 as one of six lifts at the Gudauri ski resort. Note that fixed-grip lift models Doppelmayr sells in the U.S. and Canada differ significantly from those found in Europe and elsewhere.