Backpacker died after 'opening carriage door to take selfie' on moving train

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Patrick Ward was on a guided railway tour to Kanchanaburito when tragedy struck (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Patrick Ward was on a guided railway tour to Kanchanaburito when tragedy struck (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Irish tourist who tragically died after falling from a moving train in Thailand ignored his guide's orders and opened the carriage door to take a selfie, a fellow passenger has claimed.

Irish national Patrick Ward, 45, entered Bangkok on a tourist visa on Boxing Day and was on a guided railway tour to Kanchanaburito when tragedy struck.

After slipping he fell from the carriage to the track and then 25ft down a slope while the train slowed at a picturesque spot along the route.

Now a fellow passenger has told The Mirror how Mr Ward died after trying to capture a selfie of the scenic setting by hanging out of the door.

Cheewarat Bee, a Thai woman on the train at the time, recounted what happened as she watched the tourist fall.

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She told The Mirror: "He walked and passed me to the toilet and there was a tourist guide stood near the toilet who told him not to go out.

Backpacker died after 'opening carriage door to take selfie' on moving trainThe train trip is a major tourist attraction which sees the driver slow down at certain sections (ViralPress)

"She was the one who closed the train's door because her clients wanted to go out to take photos.

"Mr Ward went to the toilet and he opened the door and went outside, between the train bogies."

"He tried to take selfies and slipped from the stair," she added.

Initial media reports said Ward slipped on the steps before falling to his death.

Images from the day show Ward, an Irish national born in New Zealand, laying on a stretcher as the Thai authorities desperately rushed him for treatment.

At the time, the district police major or Sai York, Kiatisak Kerdchok, said the 45-year-old may have fallen while walking between two carriages.

Police were alerted quickly with emergency responders rushing to his aid, but he couldn't be saved, Kiatisak added.

The backpacker had boarded the train from River Kwai Station in Kanchanaburi, which is nestled in a province known for its stunning natural beauty and gorgeous landscapes.

One such attraction in the Krasae Caves - a popular viewpoint for the iconic tracks known as the Death Railway.

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Backpacker died after 'opening carriage door to take selfie' on moving trainCheewarat Bee was riding the train at the same time as Mr Ward and saw him open the door and fall to his death (Karen Moseley-Neale/The Venue)

It earned such a grim name because it is the most dangerous section of the route.

The cave itself was used to house prisoners of war during the construction of the Thai-Myanmar Railway.

The railway was made famous by 1957 WWII film the Bridge on the River Kwai.

Authorities say Ward entered Thailand on a tourist visa on Boxing Day.

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said: "The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the case and stands ready to provide consular assistance."

Ryan Fahey

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