Seven skiers hurt in lift malfunction at Maine's Sugarloaf resort
Ski lift (

Seven people were injured on Saturday when a ski lift at Maine's popular Sugarloaf Mountain Resort malfunctioned, sending chairs rolling back on their cable, officials said.

The King Pine lift malfunctioned at around 11:30 a.m. as 230 people were being hoisted up the mountain in western Maine, Sugarloaf said in a news release.

Seven people were injured and three required hospitalization for non-life threatening injuries, the release said.

The lift was evacuated and will remain closed while investigators try to determine what caused the rollback, in which the chairlift travels backwards on its rope or cable, the statement said. None of the chairs fell from the rope, it added.

The lift rolled back a distance of nine chairs, which are spaced 51 feet apart, the news release said.

The lift can carry up to 2,100 skiers an hour up the mountain, it said.

In 2010, at least eight people were hurt at Sugarloaf when a cable holding chairs derailed and sent five chairs crashing to the ground, the Bangor Daily News reported.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Frances Kerry)