September 22nd, 2011
11:23 AM ET

One killed, one injured as zip line collapses in Hawaii

One man was killed and another seriously injured as they tested a zip line on Hawaii's Big Island on Wednesday.

The man who was killed, a 36-year-old from Maui, was about halfway across the 2,300-foot line above a stream bed when a tower holding up one end of line collapsed. He plunged 200 feet into the rocky stream bed and died at the scene. The injured worker, a 35-year-old from Ohio, fell about 30 feet from the collapsing tower and was in critical condition at Hilo Medical Center, according to a statement from the Hawaii Police Department.

The two men were working on a new course at the zip line facility just outside Hilo when the accident occurred, their employer, Experiential Resources Inc. of Maui, said in a statement distributed by On its website, the company bills itself as "the global leader in the designing and building of adventure courses, canopy tours and zip line courses."

The company that owns the zip line, Lava Hotline, told CNN affiliate KHON-TV that all lines at the facility would be closed pending an investigation.

“The course is being shut down for the next two weeks while we do an inspection and make sure that everything is totally safe,” company owner Gary Marrow was quoted as saying.  “It’s been a really difficult day.”

“We will conduct a careful, thorough review to determine all of the facts in this case. We need to know exactly what happened and why," Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi said in a statement on

Audrey Hidano, deputy director of the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, told CNN affiliate HawaiiNewsNow that zip line operators face little state regulation.

"It's not like a construction contractor. There's no licensing. If anything they register it as a business, pay your general excise taxes, pay your unemployment insurance and all that, but I don't believe there is a license involved in this," she said.

Any government regulation of zip lines would require legislative approval, she said.

Post by:
Filed under: Hawaii • Travel
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. s kel

    at first I thought they said, zip gun, like a homemade gun. Wow, how sad for the one that died family, and I hope the injured one fully recovers.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Scottish Mama

    4 of my friends were just over in Hawaii zip lining.
    My condolences to the family of the deceased man and I hope the other young man recovers fully.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    My sympathy to the family of the victim, and well wishes for a fast recovery to the injured man.

    Hey, s kel.
    He, Scottish Mama.

    September 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DerpDiggler

    Hawaii: leaders in taking you as close to the beautiful view as you can get.
    Even taking you straight down into it! Now THAT'S the sign of a true adventure global leader! 😀

    September 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      Too soon Derp, too soon.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kendo23

      Pretty callous dude.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    DerpDiggler! Long time no post!

    September 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. syndr

    Everything else is wireless,they can't do it to ziplines??

    September 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bradford

    Darwinism at its finest.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • clos

      how so? you must live a sheltered boring life.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jmuhr

      Darwinism has nothing to do with early death per se. Darwin's theory states that those who have the most offspring are the "fittest" because they pass their traits on more than those with less offspring. Did the people who died have many children or not?

      September 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mmmmm

    No Maui Luau Before Zipline

    September 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • clos

      how so? you must live a sheltered boring life.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • clos

      sorry it was not meant for your post.. for bradfords.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jj

    And u want to zipline?

    September 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. s kel

    hey Banasy

    September 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Hey s kel.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Aaron Poscovsky

    Here at work we have been talking about zip line, due to two co-workers had done it.
    Looks like fun. Now, I have to rethink it!

    September 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. steve

    Very sad – but also what the heck – that company doesn't sound like they know what they are doing! I don't think I'll be going on any zip lines. It doesn't sound like they had any engineering done on the tower.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lila

    I love ziplining and wanted to try that one. Poor guy that sucks.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lance armstrong

    swingin thru the trees like a monkey – surprised more accident dont happen form this dopey activity

    September 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7