A Chinese tourist visiting Angkor Wat was rushed to a Bangkok hospital on Saturday after falling off a staircase at the temple complex in Siem Reap City while taking photos of the iconic monument, officials said Monday.
Chau Sun Kerya, spokeswoman for the Apsara Authority—the government body that oversees the Angkor Archaeological Park—said Chinese national Zhou Wei, 45, fell about 2 meters to the ground from a staircase adjoining the east face of Angkor Wat’s main temple.
“No one at the time knew how he had fallen, but when [onlookers] saw him lying on the ground, everyone rushed to help him,” Ms. Sun Kerya said.
She added that the man was first taken to Royal Angkor International Hospital in Siem Reap, where doctors decided that Mr. Zhou’s injuries were too serious to be treated locally and transferred him to a hospital in Bangkok.
Ngin Chankea, chief of the Royal Angkor hospital’s patient transport department, said Mr. Zhou arrived at the hospital at about 11:30 a.m. and left at about 6:00 p.m. in an ambulance bound for Bangkok via the Poipet International Border Checkpoint.
“The doctor examined the victim and said he had a broken nose, a broken right cheekbone and a cut on his head, as well as bleeding in the brain,” he said.
In a statement Monday evening, the Apsara Authority expressed its regret for Mr. Zhou’s fall, but defended itself against “unreasonable claims from some sources” that the accident was a result of poor safety standards and inadequate crowd control measures at Angkor Wat.
“Apsara National Authority always pays careful attention to all of these issues,” the statement says, adding that the stairs from which the victim fell were built and maintained in compliance with international safety standards.
Yang Qing Lian, head of the Chinese Embassy’s consular section, said the embassy was aware of Mr. Zhou’s injuries. He said, however, that in accordance with Chinese tourism laws, the tour operator Mr. Zhou was traveling with was ultimately responsible for handling the incident.