Canadian tourist dies in fall from zip line in Chiang Mai

A Canadian tourist died today after falling  from a zip line in the forest of Mae On district in Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Mai.

The victim, 25-year-old Spencer Charles, plunged 50 metres to his death in Ban Mae Kamkong after the safety locks attached to the zip line sling became detached. Zip line operator staff rushed the victim to Maharat hospital where he was pronounced dead from multiple internal injuries.

Mae On district chief officer Suthep Sanmongkon said that an initial probe found three safety locks missing from the zip line’s sling. However, there is an ongoing investigation into the exact cause of the accident. The victim’s body weight of about 180Kgs might have been a contributing factor.

The zip line operator, “Flight of the Gibbon”, which is one of the oldest in Chiang Mai, said it would take full responsibility and compensate the victim’s family.

“Flight of Gibbon” has 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.


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