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UPDATE: Woman Falls 200 Feet in Fatal Maui Zipline Incident

Fatal Maui Zipline incident. Maui Now graphic. [1]

Fatal Maui Zipline incident. Maui Now graphic.

By Wendy Osher

(UPDATE: 7:10 p.m., 2:08 p.m. 5/1/2014)

A Maui woman fell approximately 150-feet to her death during a zipline accident near the Piʻiholo Ranch this morning, fire officials said.

Representatives with the Piʻiholo Ranch Zipline have since posted a comment on their Facebook page expressing their condolences and identifying the woman as an employee, Patricia “Trish” Rabellizsa.

“The Piʻiholo Zipline Ohana expresses its condolences and sympathy to those involved in today’s tragic event. We especially offer our deepest aloha and prayers to the family and friends of our co-worker Patricia “Trish” Rabellizsa at this difficult time. We are working in full cooperation with the Maui Police Department’s ongoing investigation.”

Maui police have since confirmed the woman’s identity and said she was 29, from Kīhei, and worked for the company.

The incident was reported at 9:51 a.m. on Thursday, May 1, 2014, in a gulch area with rough terrain.

Rescue efforts were hampered due to the difficult terrain, vegetation and tree cover, according to Maui Fire Captain Lionel Montalvo.

According to Montalvo, fire crews hiked on foot to the unresponsive female, who was airlifted back up to the ridge.

According to department reports, fire crews from Engine 5 out of Makawao were on scene at 10:07 a.m., followed by response from the department’s Air 1 helicopter and Rescue 10 out of Kahului at 10:11 a.m.

The area was cleared by 1:20 p.m., but Maui police remained on scene at last report as they investigate the incident, said Montalvo.

Maui police have classified the incident as a fatal miscellaneous accident and say the cause of death has not been determined pending autopsy results.

Previous zipline accidents include the following:

In October 2012, the Hawaiʻi State Auditor released a report stating that regulation of the zipline and canopy tours [7] was not warranted, and furthermore, that the state was incapable of oversight due to staffing, money, and expertise issues.

(ORIGINAL POST/UPDATE: 5/1/14)

Criminal investigators with the Maui Police Department are on the scene of a fatal zipline accident at the Piʻiholo Ranch Zipline in Makawao, sources tell Maui Now.

As of noon today, the zipline company was notifying guests with reservations that they are cancelling tours for the remainder of the day and will not be doing tours until further notice.

The woman, who was reportedly in her 20s fell an estimated 200 feet to her death, according to our sources.

Lieutenant William Juan was unable to confirm the extent of injuries when we contacted the department earlier this morning saying, “There was an incident at a Makawao zipline, however, no confirmation of injuries at this time.”

The Piʻiholo Ranch Zipline is located on Piʻiholo Road in Makawao.

The incident occurred sometime before 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 1, 2014.