VANCOUVER—Squamish RCMP say a preliminary investigation suggests the cable carrying the Sea to Sky Gondola’s 30 cars may have been intentionally cut.The popular gondola near Squamish, B.C., collapsed shortly after 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Police have been investigating since they were first alerted to a “major lift incident” at 7 a.m. Saturday morning.RCMP Const. Ashley MacKay said in a statement that an employee working at the Summit heard a loud bang, which lead to the discovery. No staff or guests were on the gondola at the time, and no injuries were reported.Photos provided by the RCMP show at least one gondola car sitting on the ground near the bottom of the lift, and gondola cables dangling from their supports.“We recognize the potential of what could have been and we are thankful that no one was injured,” Const. MacKay’s statement said. “We are currently assessing the damage but our preliminary assessment suggests that a cable was cut.”The RCMP is asking the public to stay away from the area, which includes nearby hiking trails. Police are also asking anyone with information or anyone who was in the area at the time to come forward.“That includes hikers, climbers and campers who were in the area of the Sea to Sky Gondola, as well as the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. this morning,” MacKay’s statement said.The gondola is closed for the foreseeable future, according to a statement on the company’s website.YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN…The Sea to Sky Gondola climbs 830 metres to reach a height of 885 metres above Howe Sound, just south of Squamish. Thirty gondola cabins can carry eight passengers each between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.The gondola was not in operation when the collapse occurred.Technical Safety B.C. is also investigating the incident, spokesperson Kathryn McGufficke, confirmed in an email.“Our safety officers are currently investigating the incident,” McGufficke wrote. “We’re unable to speculate on causes at this time.”Technical Safety B.C. oversees the safety of passenger ropeways throughout the province, including tramways, gondolas, chairlifts, rope tows and passenger conveyors.YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN…According to its 2018 State of Safety report, Technical Safety B.C. responded to 78 reported incidents, including 41 injuries and 180 physical inspections.Of those 180 inspections, 16 were given a “pass,” and 156 were given a “conditional pass” meaning only low-hazard non-compliance issues were found. In that scenario, inspected equipment is allowed to continue operating while the operator works to address the compliance issues.Eight passenger ropeways were given a “fail” grade, meaning the equipment inspected did not comply with the Safety Standards Act, and the equipment must not be used until identified problems are fixed. According to Technical Safety B.C., the Sea to Sky Gondola has been inspected twice so far in 2019 (which the organization refers to as physical assessments).The most recent inspection was conducted May 30, 2019, following the installation of 10 additional carriers. It was also inspected May 10, 2019, following the installation of a new clutch.The Sea to Sky Gondola was given a “conditional pass” after both inspections, said Laura McLeod, a spokesperson for Technical Safety B.C.“There were no significant safety hazards or technical failures identified in either inspection by our safety officer,” said McLeod said.The Sea to Sky Gondola was manufactured by Austrian company Dopplemayr Garaventa Group.In December 2008, a gondola in Whistler, B.C., built by the same company, collapsed while loaded with skiers.Twelve of the 43 people riding the lift at the time were injured. The final report into that collapse, issued by Technical Safety B.C. after an 18 month investigation, blamed ice buildup inside one of the gondola’s support towers that caused it to buckle and collapse.Dopplemayr Garaventa Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Get more of today’s top stories in your inboxFind everything you need to know about what’s happening in Vancouver in our Morning Headlines newsletter.Sign Up NowMore to come.