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Jan 31, 2007

Falling gate injures cruise tourist

Story PictureWednesdays are busy at the Fort Street Tourism Village and today saw five ships in the harbour, unleashing thousands of cruise visitors on the city and country. But the story out of the Village this morning was not about record numbers; it was about a single tourist, coming ashore off the Grand Princess, who had the bad luck to be knocked down by a defective steel gate. News Five’s Kendra Griffith was on the scene.

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
When News Five arrived on Fort Street, the Tourism Village staff was lifting the fallen gate away from sixty year Patricia Tate who was still on the ground.

James Nisbet, Manager, Fort Street Tourism Village
“It did not come down completely on the woman, I am very thankful for that. It brushed her as she was walking by on the street since she wasn’t that close to the gate. It seems that she did get a pretty severe hit on her hip and she has gotten some abrasions, as far as we can tell, on her elbows.”

“A gentleman that we walking by, who happened to be a paramedic back home that was on another cruise line, stopped, aided, offered primary assistance and it was in the best interest and she agreed that we wait until the ambulance came to take her to the hospital.”

With the arrival of local paramedics, the Kansas City resident was transferred to Universal Health Services.

James Nisbet
“This is an accident, we dealt with it immediately. I am sure that the passenger will understand that it was an accident. They are here to have a good time, they are not here to make trouble for anybody, so to speak, and she understood that it’s an accident.”

According to Manager of the Tourism Village, James Nisbet, a broken bolt may have been responsible for the accident.

James Nisbet
“It seems as though the buses were going over the rails of the track of the gate and it looks like it has broken one of the rivets that holds the track on the ground and the gates were being closed and it jumped the rail and tilted over and it actually fell on the end.”

But while it is the first time that the gate has hit a tourist, guides in front of the Village told News Five that today was actually the third time that one of the Village’s gates has fallen. Nisbet said he is aware of the incidents and they are the trying to rectify that and other problems in the area.

James Nisbet
“It was on some of the other gates we had some problem with, not necessarily this one. We can see exactly what the problem was and it was because the weight of the buses on it.”

“This is something that we need to take very seriously and we are going to be looking into it along with lots of other things that we need to improve on. The access of the village should be free flowing and this part of it, like I said, is just for the staging area. It is very congested out here, it took the ambulance a really long time to actually get here, which is another concern that we do have and we have indicated this to the City Council and Mr. Shepard, along with some of the other people from the City Council have been trying to establish a zone, a tourism zone, which should alleviate a lot of this congestion, a lot of the traffic.”

And to alleviate the congestion, Nisbet says he’ll need the cooperation of all those who utilise the area.

James Nisbet
“It is something that we need to deal with immediately, but it’s not only on my part, I need the concerted effort of everyone involved, the vendors, the taxi drivers, the City Council, everybody who moves back and forth from here, I need their cooperation so that it can alleviate the pressure on me to keep these gates locked and I can lean a little bit more on creating a free flow environment. This is our ultimate goal.”

Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

Late reports indicate that Tate suffered a hairline fracture to her hip and will have to remain immobile at Universal Health Services for at least another day, before being medivaced to the States.

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