A TOURIST from New Zealand slipped and fell from the train that had slowed down for passengers to take photos at Kanchanaburi’s Krasae Cave which was the camp of POWs in World War II, Naewna newspaper said today (Dec. 27).
At 12.10 p.m. Pol. Lt. Col. Kiattisak Kerdchok, an investigator at Sai Yok police station, was notified of a foreigner having died after falling off a train at Krasae Cave in Lum Sum subdistrict and quickly went there together with Pitakarn Kanchanaburi Foundation rescuers.
At the scene they found Mr. Patrick Ward, 45, lying on the ground after plunging seven to eight metres from the train. His body was taken to Sai Yok Hospital for an autopsy with the New Zealand embassy too contacted.
Eyewitnesses said the deceased man had travelled with a tour group that had boarded the Thonburi-Namtok train at the River Kwai Bridge Railway Station. When they got to this spot the train slowed down so that tourists both on board the train and outside could take photos.
The New Zealander had then opened the train door to snap some good shots of the scenery but in doing so somehow slipped and fell to the ground.
According to Lonely Planet, Krasae Cave was used by the Japanese while building this difficult stretch of the Death Railway. The wooden trestle bridge they ordered the prisoners of war to build, called the Wang Pho Viaduct, snakes between the river and sheer cliffs and is still used by trains today.
The gauntlet of souvenir shops detracts from the experience a bit, but it is still an impressive and beautiful place – especially when passenger trains pass by. Walking over is allowed, though not advisable for those afraid of heights, and the trains cross very slowly so those who do have time to get out of the way when they hear them coming.
The cave now has a large Buddha image in the main chamber and a small King Rama V statue at the back.
The spot where the New Zealand tourist plunged to the ground and his body being taken to the hospital. Photos: Naewna