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Rappeller still critical after 80-foot plunge

SHARE Rappeller still critical after 80-foot plunge

The stunt rappeller who fell 80 feet from the ZCMI Center during a performance was in critical but stable condition Tuesday.

Tamara Riewe, 21, remains in an intensive care unit, said LDS Hospital spokesman Jess Gomez.Riewe fell while she and five other rappellers put on a show for a crowd at the Main Street reopening party Friday. Investigators believe that she improperly threaded a device called a GRIGRI, said Mac Connole, an assistant chief for the Salt Lake Police Department.

"(The GRIGRI) is a rappelling device about the size of a hand," Connole said. "It acts as a break for the rope. It usually works pretty well, but it was inadvertently placed in there backward."

At the time of the fall, Riewe was attempting a stunt during which she would've fallen about 10 feet. She was expecting the GRIGRI to catch her, Connole said.

Riewe majors in modern dance at the University of Utah. Her parents are from Washington.