Indian-origin girl dies after falling off ski lift in Italian Alps

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 23, 2013 16:04 hrs

London: A 13-year-old girl of Indian-origin plunged to her death from a ski lift during a school trip to the Alps a media report said on Saturday.

Poonam Bhattal crashed more than 20ft to the ground Friday in front of her horrified friends shortly after getting on the ski lift, The Sun reported.

The schoolgirl and other passengers on the four-seater chair lift may have failed to pull down the safety bar holding them in place, said Italian police. Though she regained consciousness, she died from a suspected cardiac arrest in an ambulance transporting her to hospital.

The incident occurred as pupils at Guru Nanak Sikh Academy in Hayes, north-west London, were learning to ski on a week-long trip to the resort of Claviere on the Italian-French border.

"The ski lift was moving very fast and it's possible the group did not properly pull the protective bars down," said police commissioner Francesco Destro, while adding that a probe has been launched.

"She fell about 30 feet from the point where she mounted the ski lift, from a height of up to 24 feet. I cannot recall another accident like this here. It is possible she was not sitting properly."

"She answered questions after falling and we tried to save her but she did not make it."

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