URGENT Six Die, 51 Injured in Train-Truck Crash
LOCKINGTON, England (AP) _ A passenger train plowed into a truck at a railroad crossing today near this northeast England village, killing at least six people and injuring 51, a spokesman for British Rail reported.
The state-owned railroad, in its first report of the accident, had said 10 people were killed.
The spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, later lowered the confirmed death toll.
Between seven and 10 people were trapped in the wreckage of the three front cars, which jumped the tracks, said the spokesman.
Dozens of ambulances were used to transport the injured to hospitals.
Firemen and rescue workers were still cutting passengers free several hours after the midmorning accident, while heavy machinery was brought to haul the carriages from the line.
The diesel powered train was travelling from the coastal town of Bridlingtonon, 40 miles south of Lockington, to Hull, on the Humber River.
The partially crushed truck was hurled down the rail line. The male driver and his sole passenger, a young boy, were cut from the wreckage and rushed to hospital, both in serious condition, police said.
Passenger Ian Simpson, 19, who was travelling in the second carriage, said he felt the train careen to the left.
″Suddenly it (the carriage) was on its side. The windows had been blown through and two of the other three people in my carriage had been sucked under the train. A girl flew past me and knocked her head on the seat,″ said Simpson.
″She just lay there, unconscious. There was a lot of steam and noise and I managed to get out of the window,″ added Simpson.
State-owned British Rail said in a statement a test on the lights at the unmanned crossing - known in Britain as a level crossing - showed no fault. The lights flash automatically when a train is approaching.
″There was nothing but screaming and shouting after it happened,″ said Len Robinson, who escaped injury in one of the rear carriages.
″People were trying to get out. I was lucky,″ he said.