One worker was killed, another remains hospitalized in critical condition after the collapse of a zip line tower on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Police say the two men were making adjustments to the line after it had been in operation for about a week.
One worker was testing the line, and was about half way across a gulch when a tower collapsed. The man fell about 200 feet to the rocky stream bed below.
The second worker was on the tower, waiting for his turn to test the line. He fell about 30 feet and is hospitalized in critical condition with multiple internal injuries.
Neither of the men appeared to be wearing protective head gear, according to police.
The area in which the zip line is located is difficult to access, and it took 18 minutes for the first rescuers to arrive by helicopter.
When they arrived, the one man was already dead.
The workers were employees of GoZip LLC/Experimental Resources, Inc., the company that had built and tested the line.
KapohoKine Adventures, which handles reservations for the zip lines, said its tours would be shut down for a couple weeks to do inspections and make sure the operations were completely safe.
GoZip provides tours to more than 30,000 people per year in Hawaii. ERI has designed and built adventure courses in 40 states and 12 countries.
Hawaii’s OSHA has launched an investigation.
An official with the state’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations told a TV station that zip lines are not regulated as amusement rides because they don’t have mechanical or electrical systems. The state has several pages of safety regulations for amusement rides, but not for zip lines.
Zip lines consist of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline. They’re designed to enable users, propelled by gravity, to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable, usually made of stainless steel, by holding on or attaching to the freely moving pulley.