On Sunday, a Chinese tourist died during a zipline ride at a tourist attraction in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Her companions are now calling for further investigation into the nature of her death.
The incident occurred at an adventure park run by Flying Squirrels in Mae Rim district. The operator initially said that Wang Qi, 32, had died of heart failure during the ride. However, a postmortem examination concluded that the woman had suffered a broken neck and shoulder bones.
“The neck was snapped, breaking it,” Police Col. Adul Somnuek told Khaosod English. “We just knew yesterday that the neck was broken. At first we were told that [the deceased] lost consciousness in the harness. When we reached the scene, officers didn’t know what really happened. It was deep in the forest. So we were told that she fainted or had some kind of a shock.”
Wang’s companions have asked the Chinese consulate in Chiang Mai to help investigate and the local police have promised to follow up on the case immediately.
The Bangkok Post reports that witnesses told police that Wang was about to reach a spot on the zipline where two staff members should have grabbed her, but they made a mistake and the woman fell to the ground to her death.
Khaosod English spoke with Amphika Masanog, assistant manager of Flying Squirrels, who said that the tourist must have broken her neck while coming to an abrupt stop. Khaosod English continues:
She said the incident took place after the deceased and another person on the tour were placed together for a zipline ride, which is usually reserved for one person at a time.
Staff decided to put the pair together, Amphika said, because another tourist could not make it to the end of the line, and the staff determined the deceased didn’t weigh enough to reach the platform on her own.
Just as she was coming to the platform, the tourist started to panic and flapped her arms about, Amphika said, preventing staff from catching her in time. She came to a halt at the end of the line, Amphika said, speculating the sudden stop must have snapped her neck.
Masanog said that the company had only just learned about the autopsy report and had no intention of deceiving investigators.
“There was no visible wound on her body at the time, and she looked pale,” she said. “We thought she was in shock, or she was about to faint, so we applied first aid and called the ambulance.”
This incident comes three months after a 44-year-old Chinese tourist fell to her death from a zipline operated by another company in Chiang Mai.
In July, a total of 17 tourists from China were hurt after a road accident caused a tour bus to roll over in the popular Thai resort island of Phuket.