Australian freight trains collide
Saturday, November 27, 1999
Two freight trains collided on Friday, November 26 at Ararat station in Victoria, Australia injuring 2 people.
The incident ocurred at about 21:30 local time on the line between Melbourne and Adelaide. A train conveying wheat and travelling at about 80 km/h collided with another train loaded with metal which was standing in the station. Both trains were operated by Freight Victoria.
Two men, who were in the wheat train were injured. One was trapped in the driver's cab for over an hour before he was cut free by the emergency services. He was airlifted to hospital in Melbourne. He is thought to be in a serious condition with chest injuries. The other man suffered head injuries. Two crew from the stationary train jumped clear before the collision.
It is thought that the wheat train was wrongly diverted from the main line into a siding where the other train was standing. Early indications are that manually operated points were incorrectly set. According to a statement from Freight Victoria, "The points are locked and require a special key to open them". The company believes that the likely cause of the accident was human error rather than a mechanical failure. There will be an independent investigation into the incident.
Debris from the accident blocked the line for 24 hours.
An inquiry blamed human error as the cause of an accident at Zanthus, Western Australia. Twelve people travelling in the luxury "Indian Pacific" were injured when it collided with a stationary freight train in August this year.
- Web sources:
- Investigation under way into Vic train crash
ABC News 27 Nov 99
- Train Crash
Excite 27 Nov 99
- Human error possible in Vic train crash
Excite 27 Nov 99