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Thai tourist dies after fall at Taktsang

Accident: A 54-year old tourist from Thailand died after she fell off the path to Taktsang monastery, yesterday.

Police said that the incident occurred on a section of the path, located close to the monastery, that has no railing.

The site is located below a house, located opposite to the monastery, used for offering butter lamps. The spot is a very narrow area where there is also a water drain, and prayers flags.

The incident occurred around 12PM when the group of tourists were returning down to the valley after visiting the monastery.

The group was scheduled to depart the country today. It is expected that the body will be flown to Thailand today.

While the cause of the fall has not yet been determined police suspect the woman may not have seen that there was no railing and could have leaned in. There are other reports that the woman may have been attempting to take a picture of Taktsang when she leaned on a flag pole that gave way, and another that she slipped. Police estimated that the woman fell 300-400m.

The group was accompanied by a tour guide.

Dzongkhag officials, police, army, medical, and de suup personnel were involved in the recovery effort. The Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon and the Prime Minister were also involved following the incident.

Paro dzongda Chencho Dorji said that the area has no railing because it is very narrow and there is no space. He said that if a railing is installed there the water drain would have to be removed which would result in water flowing onto the path.

Three fatalities occurred at Taktsang last year. One involved a police personnel who fell from a spot located about 100m above yesterday’s spot. In two separate incidents, an Indian and a Chinese tourist also died after hiking up to Taktsang, however, the cause of deaths were not because of falls. The Chinese tourist died of heart failure.

In 2013, a 52-year old Swedish woman slipped and fell about 25m. That incident occurred above the Machi Labdroen monastery.

By Gyalsten K Dorji

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