Two foreign tourist trains collided on Tuesday near the famed Inca fortress Machu Picchu in southern Peru, injuring 35 people, including Americans, South Koreans, a Chilean and a French, the government said.
“The collision has left at least 35 injured, two of them are in serious condition and the others are suffering from bruises,” said the health ministry in a statement released Tuesday night.
Previous reports showed at least ten wounded.
According to the authorities, “the serious injuries are two foreign tourists hospitalized, in intensive care at the Pardo clinic in Cusco, where 22 other patients are also treated.”
The remaining wounded were hospitalized at other facilities in the area.
The collision occurred around 10:00 am at kilometer 89 of the railway between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes, the closest village to Machu Picchu, the most visited tourist site in Peru, the authorities said.
Firefighters and rescue workers were dispatched to the scene of the accident, a remote area of Peru at the Andes and Plains crossroads, in the Vilcanota Valley, local police said.
According to Peruvian media reports, local protesters allegedly attempted to block the railway line with stones and pieces of wood, forcing the first train to stop. A second train would then have rammed the first train to a stop.
This version of events, however, has not been confirmed by the police who will try to establish the causes of this collision.
One of the trains involved in this collision belongs to the company PeruRail and the other to the company IncaRail, both of which provide connections to Machu Picchu popular with foreign tourists.
The former mayor of the Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough has also sent TVA Nouvelles a photo of one of these trains carrying tourists.
She had to borrow one this Tuesday to visit the famous citadel Inca.
IncaRail said one of its passengers, a Chilean tourist, had been injured in this accident. “The other passengers (IncaRail train) have not been affected and can continue their journey to Machu Picchu,” said in a statement the group Inca Rail.
“The emergency protocol was implemented, the affected people were evacuated by ambulance,” said his side the group PeruRail, which said that “an investigation will be opened to determine the reasons for this regrettable accident “.
Symbol of Inca magnificence and inscribed since 1983 in UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage of Mankind, the citadel of Machu Picchu dates back to the 15th century, when the sun was revered, and is visited every year by thousands of tourists.
Aira McDonald is a seasoned journalist with nearly 15 years experience. While studying journalism at the University of Detroit,, Aira found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to PR News Globe, Aira mostly covers human interest pieces.