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Train derails in Wellington, 3 injured

Monday 20 May 2013 8:57 a.m.

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All 350 passengers on board a commuter train that derailed en route to central Wellington this morning have been evacuated.

Three people were treated at the scene for minor injuries following the incident which occurred around 8:15 near the Interislander ferry terminal.

Photos taken inside the cabin show the train's wheels pushed upwards into the carriage, buckling the steel floors and smashing wooden floorboards.

Passengers had to wait for more than an hour before they were allowed to disembark and are now being transported by bus to Wellington Railway Station.

All train services into the capital, excluding those using the Khandallah line, have been suspended and will be until the derailed carriage is removed.
There were nine other passenger services travelling behind the derailed train. They have stopped and their passengers are in the process of being evacuated onto buses.

The driver of the train has been stood down, which is standard practice for incidents of this nature.

Five police cars, three fire trucks and two ambulances attended the scene.

Passenger Carolyn Douglas told 3 News the train was coming into Wellington when it began violently shuddering and one of its wheels came into the interior of the carriage.

"I thought it was an earthquake or we'd hit a body or something then the wheel came up through the floor."

Another commuter, Arend Renting, says a lot of people screaming when it happened.

"Everyone was pretty scared, pretty frantic. The floorboards came up underneath and it was lucky no one was standing there because they would have been seriously injured," he says.

The incident will now be investigated by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission and KiwiRail

Power will be shut down across the KiwiRail network to allow cranes to lift the train off the tracks, says general manager of passenger services Deborah Hume.

"At this stage, we cannot confirm how long it will take for the site to be cleared.

"We are working extremely hard to minimise disruption to our passengers as much as possible."

The train involved is a Hungarian-made Ganz Mavag which arrived in New Zealand in 1981.

3 News

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