Kembla Grange train crash: four injured after train hits car and derails near Wollongong

·4 min read

Four people have been taken to hospital after an early morning commuter passenger train crashed into an abandoned car and partially derailed near Wollongong, south of Sydney.

The crash happened at Kembla Grange about 4am on Wednesday, the same day the NSW rail network is already crippled by a strike affecting up to 70% of the city’s trains.

The four-car train struck the unoccupied car left on the track, which sent the first carriage catapulting off the rail.

Emergency services at the scene said the train driver had been trapped, while nine passengers were helped off the train.

The driver was one of four people who were taken to Wollongong hospital with minor injuries. All are in a stable condition.

A man called Nick who was on the train on his way to Sydney has told radio 2GB he was lucky not to have been injured.

“It was like being on a trampoline. [We were] just bouncing up and down,” he said.

Chief Inspector Norm Rees from NSW Ambulance said: “It was a chaotic scene when emergency services first arrived, with the front carriage completely off the tracks and on its side and the second tilting.

“The train had brought down power lines which were draped over the carriages and, when you see all that, it’s lucky there weren’t more serious injuries to those onboard.

“With the first car on its side the driver was trapped by confinement but paramedics worked hand in hand with NSW Fire and Rescue and NSW police to get him out and treated.

“When you hear train derailment your first thought is whether it’s a freight train or passenger train and when it was reported to be a passenger train, you immediately start to think worst-case scenario. Thankfully the injuries sustained by the two passengers and two employees were minor.”

Police established a crime scene and are investigating, with help from Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink.

“We are working closely with NSW police who have established a crime scene, and emergency services who are on site,” a spokesman said.

“Thankfully there haven’t been any serious injuries but two customers and two crew have been taken to hospital with minor injuries.

“We would like to thank the first responders for their assistance responding to this incident and helping our customers and staff.”

Fire and Rescue NSW said on Twitter: “A northbound four car passenger train has derailed with the front carriage detached and on its side. Ten passengers have been assisted from the train with no reported injuries. The train’s driver remains in the overturned carriage with rescue under way.”

About 6.40am Fire and Rescue said the train driver had been freed from the train and taken to hospital.

The crash has inflicted substantial damage to the overhead wiring and associated infrastructure, which is likely to have impacts on services for the day.

Buses are replacing trains between Albion Park and Wollongong in both directions, and a shuttle train service is operating between Albion Park and Kiama.

Commuters are advised to change trains at Wollongong or Albion Park to complete their journey.

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