Tourists walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which crosses the Capilano River in North Vancouver, on June 4, 2008. ((Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press))

Investigators are reviewing surveillance images and interviewing witnesses to try to determine how a California high school student fell 30 metres to his death Sunday night from a viewing platform by the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver.

"One thing that is clear from our investigation to this point is that all the safety procedures, signs and railings were in place and functioning at the time of this death," RCMP Const. Michael McLaughlin told reporters at the park Monday.

The teenage boy fell from the west side of the Capilano Canyon at around 7 p.m. Sunday.

The platform is surrounded by a railing more than a metre high. Police determined the boy went over or around the railing, but they're not exactly sure how or why.

Rescue crews were able to reach the boy quickly, but he was not alive by the time they arrived, according to RCMP Inspector Davis Wendell.

"Emergency responders attended the scene and undertook a very difficult high-angle rescue attempt," said Wendell. "Unfortunately, the male in question had fallen to his death."

Autopsy Tuesday

It then took several hours for them to remove his body from the deep canyon.

The fall was witnessed by dozens of the boy's classmates, and grief counsellors were sent to their hotel afterward.

The boy's age, name and school have not yet been released by police.

An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Sue Kaffka, vice-president of the private company that owns and operates the Capilano bridge and surrounding park, said she did not yet know how the boy fell but that the safety measures in place at the site are adequate.


It took emergency crews several hours to recover the teen's body from the steep canyon. ((CBC))

"On the walkway it occurred on, there are railings and fences on the side; it is a very safe area," she said.

"These are very sturdy railings and fences. These are not flimsy in any way. And they take you all over our park, and the railings and the fences are preventing guests from getting into any unsafe places."

Century-old attraction

The operators of the popular tourist attraction are confident the park is safe and it's not likely they'll be making changes to the railings and fences, Kaffka said.

"Certainly, we'd have to wait until this whole investigation is finished, but I don't expect that we would [change the railings system]," she said.

The 136-metre-long suspension bridge was built across the Capilano River canyon around 1903.

In 1999, a mother dropped her 18-month-old daughter off the bridge. The child survived with only bruises and scratches after some branches broke her fall. Police investigated allegations of criminal negligence in the case, but no charges were ever laid.