The driver of a train involved in a fatal collision with a
truck remains seriously ill in hospital, as a senior
politician admits there has been a longstanding failure to
deal with Victoria's dangerous level crossings.
Workers began clearing the scene on Sunday with three
separate investigations under way into the crash at Dandenong
South that killed one man and sent 13 others to hospital.
A preliminary investigation found there was nothing wrong
with the train, the rail or the level-crossing warnings
before the crash.
"There's nothing at this stage that is leaping out at us
saying there was a problem with the infrastructure,"
Transport Safety Victoria director Alan Osborne told AAP on
"Certainly from witness accounts we know the lights were
working, the bells were working and the boom gates were down,
but we'll need to check the computer systems just to confirm
that it was a proper and smooth operation."
Police say a prime truck mover smashed through boom gates and
into the path of a six-carriage Metro service at the Abbotts
Road crossing at 11.42am (AEDT).
Metro spokeswoman Leah Waymark described the train driver's
condition as "serious" and said he remained in an induced
The crash has highlighted the issue of safety at the state's
Speaking from the crash scene on Sunday, opposition transport
spokeswoman Fiona Richardson said Victorian governments for
nearly 100 years had failed to act on level-crossing safety.
Ms Richardson said now was the time for action on level
crossings and called on Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu to
meet with her to discuss the issue.
"The truth is that in the 1920s the NSW government actually
took on the task of fixing every level crossing around the
state," she said.
"I think that successive governments since then in Victoria
haven't actually taken up that task, of all sort of flavours
and all sorts of political persuasions."
Transport Minister Terry Mulder also admitted there had been
"There has been systemic neglect and a lack of investment in
level crossings which the government has sought to address
through its record $5.8 billion infrastructure spend with a
particular focus on the grade separation program," Mr Mulder
said in a statement.
The government has so far confirmed funding for the removal
of five level crossings with another seven planned.
At the crash scene cranes worked to move the badly damaged
carriages, while one less damaged carriage was able to be
moved away by a locomotive.
The track would need to be rebuilt, with the clean-up
expected to take about five days, Ms Waymark said.
Police have interviewed and released the 69-year-old truck
driver after seizing his phone and taking a blood sample.
A police spokeswoman said on Sunday no charges had been laid
and the investigation was continuing.
Three train stations have been temporarily taken out of
service between Cranbourne and Dandenong for the rest of the
But train network operator Metro said it wasn't expecting any
major disruptions on the rest of the network and there were
no concerns for passengers heading to this week's Spring
Killed in the crash was a 43-year-old Cranbourne West
passenger, who was found trapped under rubble in the front
The 30-year-old train driver was trapped in his crumpled
cabin for an hour before paramedics could take him to
It is the second fatal crash at the intersection in four
years, but safety authorities don't believe there is a major
issue with the level crossing itself.