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Grout Failure Possible Cause of Maine Chairlift Failure

PORTLAND, Maine - Insurance company investigators have tentatively identified failure of concrete grout as the cause of a chairlift failure at Maine's Sunday River ski resort earlier this month.

The top unloading terminal of Sunday River's Spruce Peak Triple lift toppled over when the foundation separated from the mountaintop. 

Sunday River spokeswoman Darcy Lambert says the concrete grout was used to adhere steel reinforcement bars which secured the foundation of the lift terminal to bedrock. She says the preliminary findings were made by engineers from Sunday River's insurer, MountainGuard.  

Lambert says more engineers from MountainGuard will be at the resort tomorrow to take core samples from the concrete foundation where the grout is still present.   She says the company hasn't decided yet whether to repair or replace the lift.

"But our intention remains to act on whatever decision is made as quickly as possible following the conclusion of our investigation and MountainGuard's investigation," Lambert says.

Lambert says the site remains closed as a safety precaution during the on-going investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.