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Cyclist dies after slipping on Ghent tram rails

A 35-year-old cyclist from Izegem (West Flanders) is dead after slipping on wet tram rail.  The rails have a bad reputation for accidents in Ghent.  Ghent University Hospital attributes one in four bicycle accidents to tram rails in the city, but a fatal accident is highly unusual.

The accident happened near the Lippensplein ten days ago, but details have only now emerged.  It was raining at the time.  The cyclist slipped on his bike on tram rails and his chest hit a metal traffic post.  He was taken to hospital by emergency services and not thought to be badly injured, but two hours later internal bleeding and a ruptured aorta proved fatal.

In 2018 a quarter of bike accidents in the East Flemish capital were linked to tram rails in research undertaken by Ghent University Hospital.  In all we’re talking about 500 people a year. Similarly high figures have not been recorded anywhere in the world.  Accidents are fewer when trams run in a dedicated lane, but transport company De Lijn says that facilitating this in the Ghent Old City is no easy feat.

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