A tourist fell to his death after reportedly leaning out to take a selfie of a moving train in Thailand.
Patrick Ward plunged 33 feet to the ground after he opened a train door to take a selfie on the World War II “death railway” in Kanchanaburi province in western Thailand on the morning of December 27.
The death railway, connecting Thailand and Burma, was built by civilian laborers and prisoners of war taken by the Japanese, to supply troops and weapons for Japan’s Burma campaign in World War II. More than 100,000 laborers and prisoners died during the railway’s construction.
According to The Strait Times, Ward had come with a group led by a tour guide from the River Kwai bridge.
Ward and the group then took the train to see the death Railway. During the journey, witnesses claim that the train slowed down at a scenic spot.
The Strait Times reports that Ward then opened the door in his carriage of the moving train and tried to take a selfie to show the view outside.
However, as the 45-year-old attempted to take the photo, he slipped on the steps at the door and fell to the ground below the death railway at Krasae Cave in Sai Yok district.
Another tourist in the area was filming the surrounding scenery and subsequently captured Ward falling from the train onto his back.
Sai Yok Police Station was alerted at 11:50 and emergency services and rescuers rushed to where Ward had fallen.
Since there is no ladder or other way to climb down in that area, rescuers had to create a makeshift pulley system to lower themselves and pull Ward’s body out.
According to Sai Yok Police, Ward was barely breathing when rescuers discovered him. His right arm and neck broke in the fall.
The emergency services spent half an hour trying to resuscitate Ward but were unable to save him.
The Rise of Selfie Deaths
A study by the iO Foundation found 379 people were killed while taking selfies around the world between January 2008 and July 2021.
India ranked at the top of the list with 100 deaths while the U.S. came second with 39 deaths.
The researchers of the iO report also compiled data on the 10 most dangerous places on earth to take a selfie. These spots include the Glen Canyon in the U.S., Niagara Falls in Canada, Charco del Burro in Colombia, and Penha beach in Brazil.
Earlier this year, PetaPixel reported that more people in Australia are dying after accidentally falling from cliffs and experts believe selfies are behind the growing trend.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.