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New Zealand tourist dies after falling from 'death railway' in Thailand while taking a selfie

By Melanie Uson Published Dec 28, 2022 10:44 am Updated Dec 28, 2022 10:45 am

A tourist plummeted 10 meters to his death after falling from a train over the Burma railway, also known as the "death railway," in Thailand.

The accident happened on Tuesday, Dec. 27 after Patrick Ward, the victim, joined a tour group and rode the train to see the death railway in Kanchanaburi province in western Thailand, said Pol Colonel Phuchong Narong-in, the commander of the police station.

Describing the incident, Ward opened a door of the train to try to take a selfie with the view outside but slipped on steps at the door causing his fall. 

Another tourist in the area was able to capture a short video of Ward, who was seen falling on his back.

Ward’s body was retrieved by rescuers through a makeshift pulley system to lower themselves and pull his body out. He was spotted barely breathing, with his right arm and neck broken in the fall.  

Rescuers tried to resuscitate him for about half an hour to no avail. 

The Sai Yok police station said it would contact the New Zealand embassy in Bangkok to take custody of the body for the funeral.

The death railway was constructed by an estimated 180,000 to 250,000 Southeast Asian civilians and over 60,000 Allied prisoners during world war II, and more than 100,000 of them died.

The site has turned into a popular tourist destination in Kanchanaburi province.