Shocking footage shows an Auckland car get hit by a train on Thursday night after ignoring barriers at a crossing.
The collision occurred at the level crossing on Bruce McLaren Rd in Henderson in west Auckland, according to Auckland Transport (AT).
The train's dash cam footage, released by AT, shows two vehicles driving over the train track crossing as the train approaches.
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One red vehicle escapes in time, but the second white vehicle is struck by the train. It then fled the scene, Auckland Transport said.
The front of the train was damaged, and the cost of the repairs now has to be covered by the ratepayers.
The barrier arms were down, the crossing lights were flashing and bells were sounding, clearly showing that the train was approaching. But the two car drivers ignored this and drove straight through the level crossing.
"This was a foolish and dangerous decision and it's incredibly lucky that no one was killed," said group manager for Metro service delivery, Stacey Van Der Putten.
"The lights were flashing and the barriers were down, these drivers made the conscious and idiotic decision to ignore them, putting themselves, the other drivers nearby and the people on the train in danger."
Tracksafe manager Megan Drayton called the car driver's actions "reckless", adding that their behaviour "endangers the people in the car and the people in the train. Incidents like this can have a devastating effect on the driver of the train."
The incident raises alarm bells, says Detective Senior Sergeant Roger Small. He said the police want to hear from anyone who witnessed this take place.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Henderson Police on 09 839 0600.