Off the rails - Xplorer escapes tragedy

IT WAS like a scene out of a movie, but in reality things could have been much worse after a train derailed near Tamworth yesterday.

Passengers aboard the Xplorer train from Sydney were passing through the village of Currabubula when something went wrong and one of the carriages ran off the tracks just after 3.30pm.

Those on board described the “loud bang” they heard, and the rocky ride that came straight after as the train came to a screeching halt.

It was that moment that the driver raised the alarm, and ambulance, police and the Rural Fire Service, as well as rail authorities, flooded the scene.

Passengers remained on board in the air-conditioning as emergency crews swept through the carriages, assessing the injured.

One woman was treated for spinal precautions and was carefully removed from the carriage on a stretcher and taken to Tamworth hospital in a stable condition.

Another man with a head injury was treated at the scene, as were a number of others for bumps, bruises and minor lacerations.

It’s believed two other people were taken by ambulance to Tamworth hospital for further treatment. Commercial buses were brought in to help transport the remaining passengers to Tamworth and Armidale – many were happy to keep moving, with a tale to tell. Some passengers were also quick to praise the staff on board, as well as the crews that came to the rescue.

Transport for NSW confirmed it was the third wagon of the four-carriage Xplorer that derailed.

Rail authorities were on scene last night, with investigations under way into what caused the derailment.

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