XPT train rams abandoned car

PASSENGERS travelling on the XPT to Brisbane were lucky to escape uninjured after their train collided with an allegedly stolen car at a level crossing near Kyogle early yesterday morning.

Richmond Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Paul Fredericks said the abandoned blue Ford Laser car was thrown 25 metres when the collision occurred at 4.20am.

“We were very fortunate that the train wasn't derailed as a result of the impact and that no one wasinjured,” he said.

“The potential for a major catastrophic event was real which could have involved multiple casualties and possible fatalities as a result of this offence.”

Two teenagers, an 18-year-old from Casino and a 16-year-old from Tabulam, where charged with avariety of offences over the incident yesterday afternoon.

Insp Fredericks said the two teenagers had earlier come to the attention of police after allegedly stealing the vehicle in Casino on Saturday night, before travelling to Strudders Lane railway crossing where they abandoned the vehicle on the tracks.

Ambulance officers rushed to the scene of the crash and assessed all passengers.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the collision.

However, the impact caused minor damage to the XPT locomotive, including a rupture to a small brake cylinder and a fracture to the front guard.

State Rail safety officers determined the train unfit to continue the trip and passengers were transferred to buses for the remainder of their journey.

The two teenagers were later picked up by police walking along the Summerland Way and weretaken to Casino police station.

The 18-year old was charged with endangering safety to a person on a railway, stealing a motor vehicle and driving while unlicensed.

He was released on conditional bail and will appear at Casino Local Court on November 3.

The 16-year-old will be dealt with under the young offender's act.

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