Originally Posted by Richie-Rich
I dont think there ever was a flange, they seem to have been butt welded. Welds failed, things came crashing down....very lucky there wasnt more damage and or injury.
I disagree, there's definitely a flange.. If you look at the picture, all the other towers have flanged connections. As someone mentioned previously, the lower part of the tower doesn't have a flange, so it's conceivable that the flange is still bolted together and still connected to the top half of the tower, meaning the weld around the flange failed.
However, by inspecting the photo below, you can see the flange right by the concrete base and if you look closely the flange is still connected to the top half but it also has a reducer still attached to it, directly below the flange. That would indicate that the weld that failed is the circumferential butt-weld that connected the larger diameter bottom half of the tower, to the flanged connection for the upper half of the tower..
I don't know the regulations regarding inspections, but assuming this was a weld failure, it should have been caught by inspectors.. With a gondola like this that probably runs year round, who knows; the inspection could be due next month or something like that. I'm calling BS on the "ice jacking" though.
They will no doubt be going over Whistler / Blackcomb's lift system very diligently. Anyone know if any of their lifts are spinning today? Whatever happens in the next days / weeks, I have now doubt the battle will go on for years between W/B and the lift manufacturer (Poma? Dopplemayer?) to determine who's at fault..