Thailand police has confirmed that a 45-year-old Irish tourist died in Thailand on Tuesday after falling from a moving train.
Patrick Ward fell from the train in Kanchanburi province, west of the capital Bangkok, as it passed a scenic view at low speed, according to Sai Yok district Pol. Maj. Kiatisak Kerdchok.
Kiatisak said Ward may have fallen as he walked between carriages.
‘It was unclear if Ward was looking at the view or taking photos,’ he said.
Police were quickly alerted to the incident and rescuers rushed to help Ward, but were unable to resuscitate him, despite their efforts for half an hour.
Ward had boarded the train from the River Kwai station in Kanchanaburi, a province known for its natural attractions, including the Krasae Caves, close to the site of the incident.
Police said Ward traveled on Tuesday by rail with a tour group from the capital of Bangkok to Kanchanaburi town, where the bridge over the River Kwai, made famous in the movie about the railway constructed by forced labor under Japanese WWII occupation, is located.
The railroad is known as the ‘death railway’ and connects Thailand and Burma. After a brief stop, Mr Ward’s group proceeded to Sai Yok waterfall, another popular tourist destination.
Police Major Kiatisak Kerdchok of Sai Yok police said that according to witnesses, when the train slowed down at a scenic spot, Ward opened a door in the carriage and fell 7-8 meters (8-9yards) down a slope.
A tourist in the area was videoing the surrounding scenery and subsequently captured Mr Ward falling from the train.
Footage captured the Irish national as he fell from the carriage onto his back.
Rescuers and emergency services rushed to where he had fallen. Unable to access the area where he now lay, they were forced to put together a pulley system to lower themselves to reach him.
Thai police said that when rescuers reached him, Mr Ward was barely breathing and his arm and neck were broken.
Kiatisak said a full autopsy would be conducted Wednesday in Bangkok, and fellow members of the tour group questioned.
The dead tourist, whose passport said he was born in New Zealand is also an Irish national.
His current place of residence was not immediately known, but he travelled to Thailand yesterday on December 26 through a tourist visa.