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.

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Filed under: Hawaii • Travel
soundoff (152 Responses)

    @BOSSHOGG... who loves to smash into rocks...?

    September 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      Like they never heard of or could afford a 2,300 foot safety line . Now the lawyers are going to be careful ?

      September 23, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
    • *Max brooks

      Why do we get to
      Comment on the stupid stories and not the major ones?

      September 23, 2011 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |

    i wonder if some ziplock bags could have saved him?

    September 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      this reminds me i have to get my clothes of the line outside.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. scotonfire

    Don't know what a zip line is and would never go on one, same as I don't fly. Gravity kills.

    September 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnnyribcage

      so do cars. and cheesburgers.

      September 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      "Gravity kills" Yeah, go ahead and turn off gravity for a couple days and see how that works out for you.

      September 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      So, in other words, you don't know what you're talking about.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • chuck

      Thats why noone will remember your name..

      September 23, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ts

    My heart goes out to the family of this young man.

    September 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ts

    My heart goes out to the family of both of the young men.

    September 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoSad

      Thank you!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Randy

    If this company is the leader in building zip lines, I'd hate to work for the followers.

    September 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SUE

    Very sad for the young men and their families and lines are so much fun. I hope to ride more of them in the future. Sos sorry he died, I hope his friend recovers fully.

    September 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoSad

      Thank you!!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. debbie

    You really think that's funny, you putz? Someone DIED.

    September 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dude


    September 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SoSad

    I can not believe the insensitivity of some of you morons! One man DIED and the other man, who is MY COUSIN, is very seriously injured. If you can not say something kind, please, please, for the sake of the families keep your nasty comments to yourselves. We are very far away from Hawaii and are depending on a lot of our information from these news sources and it really hurts to see such rude and nasty things being said. We do VERY MUCH APPRECIATE all of the kind words, thoughts, and prayers being sent our way. Thank you!! media folks, the injured Ohio man is 43, not 35.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • btthrt

      @SoSad... the internet is not really a good venue for you to be looking for sympathy or compassion. no one knows you. no one can verify your story. no one actually cares about you specifically. you will only get frustrated and hurt trying to get what you think you need here.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoSad

      @btthrt, I did not come on here looking for sympathy nor compassion and it's okay that nobody cares about me specifically. I came looking for any updates as this is the only outlet we have until my Aunt arrives in Hilo. Our family does however, appreciate the kind words that a few people have expressed. It saddens me to see such disrespectful and rude comments spewed by obviously ignorant people. You are 100% correct when saying I can't prove who I am or if I am indeed related. I am not a liar and have no reason to lie about such tragedy. Until just after 8PM EST, his name had not been released and had not been reported by our local media. We are actually surprised it took this long for them to release his information (although they still have his age incorrect). He has 2 young children here in Ohio who had not yet been told of the accident. Until his immediate family chooses to make a public statement, it is not my place to put his families business out there.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conor Safbom

      The man who died was the father of my cousin's son, so I feel the same way you do. These people make me gag.

      September 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PotFace

    Meh, they knew the risks. They're not much different than test pilots. No sympathy here. If you want to extend your life-span, taking on a highly dangerous job isn't the way to go about it.


    September 22, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |

    God Bless this young man who died in such a horrible tragic accident. Bless the families too, since 9/11 just passed God bless all of those Americans. We need to start having more compassion and empathy, our lives are too short people, Come on I mean seriously? Some people act immature on the internet because they have no life, those people are causing drama with someone who they don't even know. What a waste of time to not even care or show compassion for this tragedy. Someone loved that man who died, and Everyone killed in the world trade centers, don't Just brush a death underneath the rug.....

    September 23, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tino

    Life's a vapor whether you live til 30 or 100. Find God before you die.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • softnutz

      I already found him were drinking sprite and commenting on cnn together later were gonna hang out at thr park

      September 23, 2011 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. softnutz

    Cnn has no good news leads somebody died at work So F-n what

    September 23, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. softnutz

    Dumb man didnt were safety harness employer allowed it didnt care famliy gets 12mil old news

    September 23, 2011 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
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