By Wendy Osher
A zipline tower collapse in Puaka’a on Hawai’i Island claimed the life of a Maui man, and left another man hospitalized with critical injuries.
Hawai’i Island Police say the 36-year-old Maui man fell 200 feet to his death in the incident. According to police reports, he was in the process of testing the line, and had traveled about halfway across the 2,300-foot span when the collapse occurred.
Officials with Experiential Resources Inc. (ERi) called the incident a “construction accident,” saying the company was working on a new course at the Lava Hotline just outside of Hilo, Hawai’i.
The two men had just made an adjustment to the line and were in the process of testing it when the accident occurred, police said.
The 43-year-old Ohio man, who was standing on the tower when it collapsed, fell about 30 feet. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was last listed in critical condition with multiple internal injuries.
ERi President, John White, said the company and its workers were “deeply saddened,” by the incident. “The ERi family extends our heartfelt sympathy and aloha to the family and friends of our employees,” he said.
ERi designs and builds adventure courses, canopy tours and zipline courses around the world, and was contracted to construct the zipline involved in the accident. ERi’s sister company GoZip, LLC is the tour operator of the award winning Kapalua Adventures on Maui and Bay View Zipline in Kaneohe on O’ahu.
The company has erected over 1,000 zipline spans in 40 states and 12 countries, according to its website.
KapohoKine Adventures, the company that books tours at the Honolii Mountain Outpost, also offered condolences following the accident saying, “our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those affected.”
“We appreciate the outpouring of support received from the community through phone calls and emails, and will share all of them with everyone directly affected,” said Gary Marrow, owner of KapohoKine Adventures.