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'Drunk' skier falls 130 feet to his death from ski lift

By Agence France-Presse Published Apr 04, 2023 9:31 am

A Frenchman fell to his death in the Alps after crashing through a plastic window on a ski lift while "messing about" under the influence of alcohol, prosecutors and the lift operator said.

The accident took place on Saturday, April 1 at the end of the day as the two men, aged 29 and 23, were descending the mountain at the Deux Alpes resort.

They were "under the influence of alcohol" and "were messing about in the lift and the 29-year-old smashed through the plexiglass screen and fell 40 meters (130 feet) to his death," local prosecutor Eric Vaillant said on Sunday, April 2.

According to local media, the two men were filming themselves when the victim, who weighed more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds), rammed himself against the side of the lift.

"These are lifts built for 20 people," the director of the Deux Alpes resort, Fabrice Boutet, told the BFM channel on Monday, April 3, denying any responsibility for the accident. 

"If there's movement caused by abrupt braking or something else, they are designed to resist impacts. This stupid accident was caused by him gaining momentum and throwing himself against the plexiglass." 

The ski lift is set to be examined by police who are investigating the death.

Local radio station France Bleu reported that the man fell onto a piste marker and impaled himself. (AFP)