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First Fatality on World's Highest Railway Confirmed
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A 77-year-old Hong Kong tourist on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has died from altitude sickness.


Railway Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping said on Wednesday the man was hospitalized in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, and diagnosed with pulmonary edema before taking the train.


However, he discharged himself against the doctor's recommendation and boarded the train to Xining, capital of Qinghai Province. He was taken ill en route and died Aug. 1 on the way to a hospital in Anduo, a station on the route, Wang told Xinhua.


"Tourists should not take the trip to Tibet by train unless they first have a physical examination and get the doctor's approval," Wang said.


"Bad headaches and vomiting should be reported to railway staff to ensure treatment is received as soon as possible."


The train, which started operating on July 1 and reaches altitudes of over 5,000 meters, is equipped with extra oxygen supplies for passengers and the double-glazed windows are covered with anti-ultraviolet radiation film.


As of Aug. 29, the railway had carried 300,000 passengers to Tibet, said Wang adding that all railway staff were in good health despite long working hours and fatigue.


(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2006)

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