A crew member was injured this morning at Virgin Mobile FreeFest before the outdoor music festival got underway at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Howard County Fire & Rescue confirmed this morning.
The crew member, a 50-year-old male, was testing a zipline near the West stage of Merriweather when the zipline malfunctioned, injuring the worker, said Audrey Fix Schaefer, festival spokeswoman.
Schaefer said the accident happened before 11 a.m., when the general public had not yet been allowed in. Fire & Rescue confirmed her version of the incident.
According to a news release from Fire & Rescue, the man "had been standing on top of one of the supporting towers of the zip line attraction, when the tower collapsed. The subject rode down with the tower from a height of approximately 40 feet."
The crew member, an employee of the company Zip Line USA, which operates the zipline, was transported by ambulance to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, said Fire & Rescue public information officer Gordon Wallace. He was suffering non-life threatening injuries and is in stable condition.
Festival organizers have since determined the zipline is unsafe for use, and will not be using it Saturday, Schaefer said.
Maryland Occupational Safety and Health was on the scene Saturday morning investigating the incident, Wallace said.
This post was updated from an earlier version with new details about the incident.