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 Hawaii247.com. 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.
‚ÄúThe course is being shut down for the next two weeks while we do an inspection and make sure that everything is totally safe,‚ÄĚ company owner Gary¬†Marrow was quoted as saying.¬† ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been a really difficult day.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe 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 Hawaii247.com.
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.