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 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.

“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 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.

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Filed under: Hawaii • Travel
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. softnutz

    Yea its just as funny as the dumb retard climbing ropes he got what was comeing hes dead fatty

    September 23, 2011 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sue

    this too shall pass

    September 23, 2011 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. justathought

    @BRYAN ANGLE: Agree, thes jerks must be either high (on drugs) or dunk. I'm awake because of pain and couldn't sleep, but these nuts need some sleep. Falling has to be a horriable way to die, especially that high, you know you are going to die, it si nothing to make fun of. My condolances to the family and friends. There has been only one 'accidental' death in which I think the guy deserved to die. In dense fog, drunk, not belted in, doing 60mph in a parking lot, slams into a light pole. Better him than someone else on a street.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
    • JFWilder

      Doubtful this was drugs or drunk. Just bad safety measures on behalf of the company is the most likely cause. Even I would know not to test the line myself, but send something like "Buster" from Mythbusters or a giant sandbag over the line a number of times to test it, not myself.

      September 23, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • dr who

      I think you are just an idiot who can't spell....how are they jerks??

      September 23, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. JFWilder

    Putting a 200 pound sand bag and zipping that is a lot better idea than using yourself as a test dummy. Chalk another one up on the Darwin Awards page.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. jesus

    My bad. I go to the bathroom for 5 minutes and morons kill themselves.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. dPLAY

    That is so sad. My heart goes out to the family of the victim and I pray to god that the other get well soon.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. CarchariasUh

    This is a perfect example of how people can create more solid foundations. Not only can the victims' friends or family start an independent business to ensure this doesn't happen again, but they can spread the word, get some structural engineers on board, and make something great...out of another terrible accident.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. jonathan bain

    Wow

    September 23, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Buck Naked

    Last word – DOH!

    September 23, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Justen beiber

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    September 23, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. NORMAJEAN

    How does testing a zip line for the company they work for make them anything other then employee's who lost their lives. My God people enough with all the Hate and really bad humor.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • JLJ

      NormaJean – spot on comment. As with you, my thoughts are with the family and friends of the 2 men.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    I see many on here getting butt-hurt over people laughing and joking about their deaths. Although you may not realize it, I think we should let you in on a little secret... The reason it is so damn funny to us, is because they could have avoided their own deaths plain and simple. Let me give you an example, If you built wooden and rope bridge across a 40 foot high crevasse, would you test it by going to the middle and jumping? America's amazingly unified hindsight will probably squash this from happening again anytime soon but hey lighten up, we are still heading towards overpopulation 😀

    September 23, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Githm

      @Robert I don't remember the article explaining all the details that caused the accident in regards to specific equipment failures. Which makes your statement that they could've avoided their deaths, and so far one death, plain and simple just an infantile assumption. Your condescending response to why you jumped on the humor bandwagon only reflects your ability to make snap judgements and how desensitized you are to a man, with a family and friends, getting killed on his job. You're not witty, clever or funny...just a thinly veiled bore.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nitadf

    Wow Scott.....I wish my wife would go over there and volenteer to be a zipline tester.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Amom

    Last week I crossed off air shows from my list of fun things to do. This week I shall cross off take a ride on a zip line.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tonymarcy

    i think these dry comments are from some people who really are hurt because they planned to zip line there with their familly and freinds and a (sort of) reality has shocked them humble, and now actingf out pain thru comments. my god rest this poor man soul....

    September 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
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