The West

Holmes a Court tram tragedy

Peter Holmes a Court and his American fiancee have postponed their African wedding after a tram carrying guests collided with a freight train, killing one man and critically injuring another.

WA-raised Mr Holmes a Court, son of late billionaire businessman Robert, was to have married award-winning photographer Alissa Everett in Botswana on Sunday but the wedding has been reportedly put on hold following last Tuesday's tragedy.

The accident happened about 5pm as the open-sided tram, which had just picked up 32 tourists including four children, was due to leave Victoria Falls station for a 20-minute trip through the rainforest along the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, News Corporation reported last night.

Mr Holmes a Court's best man, grocery millionaire Jason Gissing, a friend from his days at Oxford University, and another man were flown to Johannesburg for specialist medical treatment.

According to reports, at least 10 other people were treated for injuries, including a young boy.

A 43-year-old father of two died of his injuries but it is not known if he was a wedding guest. reported the tram was struck from behind after it stopped to change tracks.

The online grocery company Mr Gissing founded Ocado confirmed he was being treated for a broken arm and leg at a South African hospital.

It is understoof Mr Holmes a Court, who co-owns South Sydney rugby league team the Rabbitohs with actor Russell Crowe, was not on the tram at the time of the accident.

Wedding guests wait in disbelief on the side of the track

Mr Holmes a Court and Ms Everett had asked friends to donate to Safe Houses in Congo, in lieu of a wedding gift. Ms Everett has been supporting the charity for six years after working as a war photographer in the area.

Mr Holmes a Court also has close ties to South Africa. His father was born and raised there before moving to Australia and becoming the country's first billionaire.

News Corporation reported Mr Holmes a Court contacted prominent Botswana lawyer and former politician David Coltart for legal advice after the crash.

Police national spokesman Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said all passengers on the train were foreign tourists from America, Australia and the Netherlands.

"While the tram train was at the Victoria Falls main station (it) was hit from behind by a goods train," she told African media.

Passengers flee the tourist tram

The brother of the dead man, named online as Stephen, has spoken about the family's anger and grief: "We can never fully forgive those responsible and will go out of our way to warn our friends and loved ones to stay away from such corrupt places as Zimbabwe.

"There was no warning, no horn blast, and the tram operator cowardly jumped seconds before impact. Any small effort may have made a difference."

Mr Holmes a Court is divorced from his first wife, American lawyer Divonne, who lives in Saanen, Switzerland, with their two sets of twins, George and Robert and Elsa and Madison.

The Holmes a Court family could not be reached for comment last night.

Latest News From The West

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West