The device at the center of a fatal bungee accident last week at a Grand Junction indoor recreation center has been tested and proven to be functioning normally, according to the company's manufacturer, Head Rush Technologies.
The Boulder-based company reported the findings in a statement released to The Daily Sentinel on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, who worked with Head Rush to test the device in the wake of the fatal fall, confirmed the test's results and said the agency will now focus on other factors in the case.
Ciara Romero, 20, died Jan. 4 while participating in a 70-foot bungee-jump feature at Get Air at the Silo, 715 S. Seventh St. Participants use a harness connected to a rope to climb one of the silo's towers, then transfer to a wooden platform and jump off, down another tower, while attached to a rope. Users free fall for 15 to 20 feet and are caught by the device and lowered more slowly to the ground.
Head Rush Technologies makes the QUICKjump XL free fall device used by customers at Get Air's silo jump, and local developer Bonsai Design worked with Get Air to design the attraction.
The Tuesday inspection included examination of the device, its webbing and triple-locking carabiner, Head Rush Technologies said in a statement.
"This inspection involved testing which subjected the device to various loading profiles across a range of weights, where the velocity and force were recorded in simulated descents," according to the statement, which was released by Bill Carlson, the company's senior director of marketing. "The inspection and testing determined that the device, webbing and triple-locking carabiner were found to be intact, and functioning normally, with no apparent damage."
Following last week's accidental death, the QUICKjump XL device is temporarily prohibited from use in Colorado. Get Air has since reopened its trampoline park, but not the silo jump feature.
Based on the findings, Head Rush is not extending a stop use order for the device where it is used at any other attraction worldwide, aside from Colorado.
After ruling out the device as a factor in Romero's death, state investigators will refocus on eyewitness statements and continue to share information with local police, said Cher Haavind, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
"We're looking at all possible causes," she said. "This is extremely rare, which is why the investigation is taking longer."
Testing of the device of is one of the first steps in the investigation, she said.
Employee training also will be reviewed. Haavind said Get Air officials have been cooperating fully with police and the state, offering video footage of the incident.
Colorado hasn't experienced a fatality from an amusement park-type of facility in at least 15 years, Haavind said.
"Our priority is ruling out one thing at a time," she said about the investigation. "Do know that we're working quickly to get an answer."
Get Air released a statement Monday saying the business "feels deep sorrow and profound sympathy for (Romero's) family and friends in their loss, and expresses its sincere condolences to them" and thanking first-responders for responding and assisting Romero and her family.
"We are fully cooperating with the Grand Junction Police Department, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Colorado State regulatory agencies in their investigations of the incident. We will have no further comment regarding this investigation or incident," the statement said.