CHIANG MAI – A 25 year-old Canadian tourist has died after falling to his death from a zipline at Flight of the Gibbon Zipline Company in Chiang Mai province on Saturday, according to a local media report.
Police said the Canadian tourist was riding a zip line at the Flight of the Gibbon rain forest adventure in Mae Kam Pong, when they believe his safety locks broke, causing him to fall 50 metres into a creek.
The tourist has been identified as Spencer Charles, 25, who traveled to Thailand with his girlfriend, where they stayed together at a lodging on Chang Khlan road in Chiang Mai city.
Initial reports said that shortly after the Canadian, who weighed about 125 kilograms, was released from the start of the zipline, the cable disconnected and the man fell to his death into a rocky creek below.
Police said an investigation was underway to establish the actual cause of the accident and that the zipline operator had accepted full responsibility for what happened.
Later on Saturday, Chiang Mai deputy governor Komsan Suwan-ampa said the body of the Canadian tourist had been brought to Maharat Hospital, awaiting his father’s arrival to take the body back to Canada.
The case against the zipline operator is being handled by tourist police and the director of the tourism and sports office in Chiang Mai.
He said Pol Maj Sakarin Wiratkasem, a Mae-on police investigator, had informed the Canadian Consulate in Chiang Mai of the accident and asked it to contact the dead man’s relatives, who are expected to arrive on Sunday.
“Flight of Gibbon” has had a history of accidents. On July 13th, 2015, two zip line riders, one Chinese woman, Zi Lei, and an American woman, Lisa Sayre, violently collided with each other and lost consciousness.
Two accidents were reported in 2012, one involving a woman from Bangkok who suffered a broken hip and the other a Taiwanese businessman, Parry Lin, also suffered broken ribs.
In 2016, “Flight of Gibbon” was temporarily closed by officials following an accident involving three Israeli tourists.
By Geoff Thomas