Girl, 6, avoids serious injury in 10-foot Boler Mountain chairlift fall

A six-year-old girl was sent to hospital after falling from a chairlift at Boler Mountain earlier this week, the second unusual injury to occur there recently.

Emergency crews were called to the ski hill in west London for a report of a fall just before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, a spokesperson for Middlesex-London paramedic services said.

"We attended to a youth," Miranda Bothwell said, noting the exact age would not be made public. "The patient was stable upon arrival, so our crews worked with ski patrol for extrication."

The patient was taken to hospital with "potentially serious" injuries, Bothwell said.

The emergency dispatch call suggested it was a 10-foot fall from a chairlift.

A London police spokesperson said officers assisted paramedics and there is no police investigation.

The child who fell was a six-year-old girl and was released from the hospital the next day, Boler manager Marty Thody said Friday.

"She's doing fine," he said, noting she did not sustain any serious injuries.

The girl was getting on the chairlift with a ski instructor and two other students when she struggled to get properly seated, Thody said.

"The instructor tried to pull her back, and by that point, the operator stopped the lift, and the instructor couldn't hold her."

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), a regulatory agency that reviews and registers chairlifts, was called to inspect the chairlift at Boler, which had re-opened Thursday.

Inspectors "did the review and gave us all clear to go, and they were they were pleased with our safety protocols and everything else," Thody said.

Boler has discussed the incident with its staff and provided additional training to the ski instructor involved, he added.

Heather Spencer Grim, who was skiing at Boler that day, said the incident drew a heavy presence of emergency vehicles.

"It was a pretty sombre night after that, as they shut down the main ski lift for the rest of the night," she wrote in a text exchange with The Free Press.

This is the second incident at Boler within the last week. A 66-year-old Londoner was waiting in line at the ski hill on Feb. 15 when a falling tree struck him. The man, George Dlouhy, was taken to hospital with serious injuries, his son, Yakub, has told The Free Press.

Environment Canada had issued a special weather statement for the London region that day, warning of wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour. Ontario's ministry of labour, immigration and skills development was notified of the incident and sent two inspectors to the scene.

Dlouhy likely will be recovering in hospital for a long time, Yakub said Thursday. An online fundraiser was launched this week to support costs for his rehabilitation and potential home modifications.

"George will need ongoing occupational and physical therapy to continue his road to recovery," the fundraiser page reads. "We know George will be able to handle the physical burden of this recovery, but we are especially devastated that this tragedy occurred just as he began his retirement."

The recent incidents have been tough on staff, Thody said.

"It's upsetting," he said. "Everybody works very hard to create the environment that Boler is and I know all of our staff are thinking about the two people (affected)."

Canada's southernmost ski hill, Boler was founded as a non-profit organization in 1946 by a group of Londoners who started skiing at Reservoir Hill before moving to Griffith Street. The Byron attraction also features sledding, hiking trails, mountain biking, beach volleyball pads and the TreeTop adventure park.

Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press