KANCHANABURI, THAILAND: A tourist visiting Thailand was reported dead on Tuesday, December 27, after falling from a moving train which was traveling from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. The man was identified as 45-year-old Patrick Ward, a New Zealand-born Irish citizen, Daily Mail reported.
Ward was traveling by train with a tour group on a route called The Burma Railway, where the Bridge on the River Kwai is located. The bridge was made famous by a 1950s novel and film called ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’. It is believed that Ward had leaned out of the speeding train to take pictures of his vacation. According to local media, he was attempting to take a selfie when he fell.
The railroad, which connects Thailand to Burma, was built by forced labor during the Japanese invasion in World War II and is known as the “death railway” because more than 12,000 allied prisoners of war and tens of thousands of forced laborers and slaves died during its construction. According to Police Major Kiatisak Kerdchok of Sai Yok police, Ward opened a door in the carriage as the train slowed down at a picturesque location. He fell 7-8 meters down a slope as he was attempting to take a photo, according to Daily Mail.
Ward’s fall was captured on camera by another visitor who was filming the surrounding landscape. In the video, the Irish man was seen falling off the carriage and landing dangerously on his back. Emergency services and rescuers were quick to arrive at the scene but were unable to get to where he fell. They eventually had to construct a pulley system to lower themselves to reach him.
According to Thai police, Ward was barely alive and his arm and neck were broken when rescuers found him. The emergency responders attempted to revive him for a half-hour without success. Police claimed that although Ward’s body had wounds, none of them suggested foul play. They questioned other witnesses and an autopsy is scheduled on Wednesday in Bangkok. The New Zealand embassy in Thailand would be contacted and custody of the body would be turned over to them for the funeral.