Canadian tourist dies after 100-metre fall from Chiang Mai zipline

Canadian tourist dies after 100-metre fall from Chiang Mai zipline
PHOTO: flightofthegibbon.com

A Canadian tourist fell to his death while riding a famed zipline in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

According to local media reports, 25-year-old Spencer Charles plunged to his death after the safety locks failed on the zipline operated by the Flight of the Gibbon company. 

The accident took place on April 13, moments after the man took off from the safety platform.

An investigation showed that the faulty safety locks led to the cable that held onto him to disconnect, causing him to fall 100 metres down into a rocky creek where he was later found dead. 

Local police also suspected that the equipment used on the zipline was not able to bear Charles' weight. According to The Flight of the Gibbon's website, riders have to be below 125kg to be able to ride the zipline.

However, Charles reportedly weighed 125 kg and was only held by three cables when safety requirements needed eight cables.

Local authorities have called for the zipline to suspend its services as the zipline undergoes police investigation and safety checks. Flight of the Gibbon company has also accepted full responsibility for the accident and has offered extra compensation to the victim's family. 

The zipline operator markets itself as 'one of the longest single ziplines in Asia', and has the 'highest safety standards' in the region. It is also known to be the only zipline operator to allow riders to be alongside wildlife, like the Gibbon monkeys, hence their name. 

This is not the first time that the zipline operator in Chiang Mai has encountered trouble. In 2016, Flight of the Gibbon was closed for safety checks after three Israeli tourists got injured on the ride.

kimberlyfoo@asiaone.com

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