Adventure company Crag Adventures says the teen who fell to her death at the weekend while bridge swinging should have been securely strapped in and it did not know what had gone wrong.

Catherine Peters, 18, fell more than 20 metres after jumping from the Ballance bridge near Woodville about 2.45pm on Saturday.

She landed on rocks in the riverbed and died from her injuries in Palmerston North Hospital that night.

Ms Peters was in a group of about 100 on an introductory course organised by the university's Alpine Club and run by outside Palmerston North contractor Crag Adventures Ltd.

Almost 80 people had completed the swing when Ms Peters took her turn, police central districts communication manager Kim Perks said.

Crag Adventures spokesman Duncan McCann said Ms Peters should have been safely harnessed into the swing and attached to the rope and the company did not know what had gone wrong.

"It's under investigation by the police and occupational health and safety [now known as the Department of Labour] so we have to wait on the reports delivered to work out the cause."

The company had never had a problem like this in the eight years it had run the event for the Alpine Club, he told Radio New Zealand today.

"Safety is incredibly stringent. Everything is checked on every jump with every participant.

"It's absolutely shocking and devastating for everyone involved."

All activities the company ran had been cancelled pending a meeting with the Department of Labour, Mr McCann said.

Bridge swinging involves jumping from a bridge attached to a rope and swinging underneath.

Ms Peters, a first year veterinary science student, from Christchurch, lived in the Massey Manawatu campus halls of residence.

Her family yesterday travelled from Christchurch to Palmerston North.

University vice-chancellor Steve Maharey said staff were providing support and counselling to the other students present during the incident, many of whom live in the halls of residence.

"The university is shocked by this incident and has conveyed its condolences to the family," he said.

"We will work closely with them to give them all the support we can. We will also work closely with students and the students association to ensure they have the support they need."

Whether the university or student association took any action would depend on the outcomes of the official investigations, Mr Maharey said.

Massey University Students' Association president Matt Poucher said the entire student union expressed its deepest sympathy to Ms Peters' family and friends.

"The Alpine Club is one of our oldest clubs with an excellent safety record. Obviously we will provide any support we can to the students involved."