Canadian tourist plunges to death from faulty zipline

Zipline

BANGKOK — A Canadian fell to his death from about 12 metres (39 feet) while ziplining at a popular tourist attraction in northern Thailand, police said Tuesday.

Home to famed Buddhist temples, lush jungles and picturesque waterfalls, Chiang Mai is a well-known destination in the north for visitors seeking an alternative to Thailand’s beaches.

The 25-year-old man was taking part in Chiang Mai’s Flight of the Gibbon, a popular activity that allows tourists to zip through lush jungle while hooked onto a harness.

He “fell to his death from the zipline... on Saturday,” said police major Sakarin Wiratsaken of Chiang Mai’s Mae On district, adding that the Canadian was travelling with his wife.

The incident happened halfway through the victim’s zipline journey when “the lock on his body harness and the main line broke”, plunging the Canadian from the height of 12 metres.

“All evidence will be sent to the forensic office,” Sarakin told AFP, adding that no one has yet been charged for the fatal accident.

Flight of the Gibbon has been closed since the incident and is currently awaiting for permission to resume activity, said a company representative Tuesday.

Thailand is largely considered a safe destination for tourists and typically draws more than 35 million visitors each year.

But tourism took a hit in 2018 after a ferry carrying Chinese visitors in southern Thailand sank in July, killing 47 people.

The accident highlighted lax safety rules in the tourism sector, and authorities have been scrambling to remake the country’s image since.