Two tourists trains collided Tuesday near Machu Picchu, several media outlets are reporting.
According to Reuters, the incident occurred along a popular tourism route from Ollantaytambo village to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A train operated by PeruRail S.A., which is jointly owned by Belmond Ltd and Ferrocarril Transandino S.A., struck a train operated by IncaRail. Both rail services transport tourists to Machu Picchu.
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Reports vary on the number injured, with The Guardian reporting that at least 10 people, most of them foreign tourists, were injured, while a local police officer told Reuters that 23 people were injured in the collision. IncaRail told Reuters that one of its passengers, a woman from Chile, was injured, with the rest being able to continue their trip to Machu Picchu.
The cause of the incident remains unclear at this time. Police told the BBC that an investigation is underway. One of the IncaRail passengers, however, told local media that a protest on the tracks forced the train to halt for an hour, leading to the accident. Police and train operators have not confirmed this allegation.
“We stopped for an hour, then the protest was cleared, the train continued its route, and five minutes later we felt a strong impact on the back,” Valeria Lozana told state news agency Andina, according to The Guardian. “It was a PerRail train that hit us.”
The Guardian also reports that police are investigating whether the protest was carried out by a group of Peruvian tourists who were unable to board the train at a place reserved for local communities, who pay a discounted fare.