Lorry driver arrested after 18 are injured in serious rail crash
A lorry driver has been arrested after a serious rail crash at a Suffolk level crossing this afternoon which left four people with serious injuries and another 14 passengers injured.
Two of those injured in the accident are tonight fighting for their lives in a critical condition in hospital.
Colchester General Hospital is tonight at the centre of the crisis, treating 14 patients, including one who is in a life-threatening condition.
The train driver is among the patients taken to the Essex hospital.
A further two people have been taken to Addenbrooke’s hospital and one person has been admitted at the West Suffolk Hospital.
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At least one of the casualties had to be airlifted to hospital.
There were 20 passengers on board the train, many of which had to be evacuated into nearby fields at the side of the railway line.
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The accident happened at around 5.30pm at a user-operated crossing in Little Cornard near to Bures Road, the B1508 when a 44-ton articulated lorry which had just deposited its load at the nearby sewage works was crossing the line.
The lorry collided with the 5.31pm East Anglia rail service from Sudbury to Marks Tey and the first carriage of the diesel train left the track.
The 38-year-old male lorry driver, who was not injured in the crash, has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and is now being questioned by police detectives.
Police officers, paramedics and rail investigators are still at the scene. Fire crews have now started to leave the scene.
A police spokesperson confirmed initial inquiries are underway at the scene and British Transport Police will be investigating the collision.
One bystander who heard the collision said it sounded like a huge explosion. He got down to the track soon after the collision and said he saw stretchers being taken onto the train.
The rail carriages have been stabilised and the train is expected to remain in place for at least two days while the BTP carry out their investigations.