Footsteps Through Time

Footsteps Through Time
A History of Travel and Tourism to the Victoria Falls - www.zambezibookcompany.com

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Tram Accident Update: Tourist dies from injuries

Media sources are now reporting that one of the twelve tourists injured on Tuesday after the tourist tram they were travelling in has hit by a goods train in Victoria Falls has sadly died.

The ZBC reported that two of the injured passengers who sustained head injuries were flown to South Africa for expert treatment. Reports from South Africa indicate that one of the injured has since died.

The collision occurred near the Victoria Falls Hotel around 5pm when the goods train, which was coming from Hwange, rammed into the tram.

ZRP national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the injured tourists were from USA, Australia and Netherlands. "As the Zimbabwe Republic Police we are confirming the accident. However our men are on the ground to try and find out what could have possibly happened. The injured are [all] foreign tourists," she said.

The tram was hit just after pulling off towards Jafuta Lodge, where the tourists intended to have their supper. Residents who spoke to SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said the goods train changed lanes, onto the path of the tram, leading to the collision.

Saungweme said a signal error was the most likely explanation for the accident, reportedly theorising it could be linked to theft of copper used in the signal system.

In an media statement published on VicFalls24.com, it has been clarified that the tram was carrying a party of 32 tourists, including 4 children, at the time of the accident, of which 20 were treated for injuries. The injured nationals are reported as being from the United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Australia and were treated at the Chinotimba Medical Centre and The Victoria Falls Hospital, both in Victoria Falls. Two of the critically injured passengers were evacuated to medical facilities in Johannesburg, South Africa and unfortunately confirming one of the injured persons died as a result of injuries sustained. None of the reports so far clarfiy the nationality of the deceased tourist.

Furrther details of the incident have emerged, with SouthernEye reporting that a severely injured elderly man was stretchered into a dark Victoria Falls Hospital as the institution was in the middle of a [power] blackout at the time the injured tourists were brought by ambulances. The man... could not be immediately attended to as there was no doctor on duty at the time.

The accident comes after railway passengers were injured recently when two trains derailed on the Victoria Falls route between Friday and Sunday.

Source: Vic Falls tram accident tourist dies - Bulawayo24 (02/07/14)
Tram Accident Press Release : Victoria Falls - VicFalls24 - 02/07/14
27 tourists injured in train smash - SouthernEye -)2/07/14

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