A Copper Mountain gondola crashes on a test run.

It's a weird feeling riding a gondola. You're hanging from a cable and swinging in the wind. Helpless to do anything should something break or malfunction. Getting stuck in one of those things wouldn't be fun. Having one fall with you in it could be fatal. The truth is they're a very safe mode of transportation and skiing simply wouldn't be possible without them.

Unforchely one came down Monday morning at Copper Mountain's American Eagle lift. The gondola was being tested and the lift is under construction so nobody was hurt. According to the ski area, the gondola came unhooked from its cable and fell shortly after exiting the terminal. That area is currently off-limits to the general public.

Grand Junction's Leitner-Poma built the gondola that came down at Copper Mountain. The project is part of a larger effort that includes the lift, chairs, and gondolas. In a press release, Copper Mountain officials report, "The safety of our employees, contractors and guests is our number one priority. Copper is working closely with the Leitner-Poma team and the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board to ensure that, once completed, the American Eagle lift will operate safely and reliably."

The incident sounds pretty minor. I don't think I'd go canceling your lift tickets over the deal. That's why you test stuff, so it works safely when it counts.

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