A photographer was left with a swollen face after he slipped and fell on a newly polished floor at Government House during the official visit of President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou on Saturday.
The incident occurred as Ma called on Governor General, Sir Frederick Ballantyne and held a private meeting with him as part of the Asian leader’s official visit to this country.
The photographer, Lance Neverson of the Agency for Public Information, told his Vincentian colleagues that he did not realise that the floor had been newly polished and was slippery, and that he fell hard.
Neverson’s face was visibly swollen after the incident and at one point, he was bleeding slightly from the cheek area.
I-Witness News understands that the wooden floor at the Governor General’s official residence was polished Saturday morning ahead of Ma’s visit.
The floor, which seemed to have been polished with an oil-based substance, was slippery to the touch.
After the incident, Vincentian and Taiwanese were heard cautioning each other in English and Chinese, respectively, about the slippery floor.
Some persons were seen sliding as they walked, and others were assisted in making their way across the slippery surface.
After their private meeting, Ma and Sir Frederick posed for photographers as they exchanged gifts.
Both heads of state then made their way across the slippery floor, without incident, as Ma went to sign the guest book at Government House.
The Taiwan president wrote in English “Greeting and friendship from the Republic of China on Taiwan”. He also wrote in Chinese a sentence that roughly translates into English as, “May the friendship of our countries remain stable for ever.”