Digger driver in critical condition after train crash

A man is in a critical condition after a train collided with a digger this morning near Tongariro National Park.

Police Sergeant Guy Callahan said the incident occurred at 9.15am at Raurimu Spiral, on the Main Trunk Railway near the National Park.

"We got a call from ambulance services, and a digger on the tracks had been hit by a train.

"A digger driver was trapped in the cab for a short period. The Fire Service managed to get him out, and he's been airlifted to hospital in a critical condition."

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

The driver was the only person in the digger.

A KiwiRail spokeswoman said it was a north-bound freight train, and the train driver was uninjured. There were no passengers on the train.

"The driver wasn't injured. Whenever our driver is involved in a collision like this, we always relieve them as a matter of course. And counselling has been arranged."

She said she was not aware of any issues with the train, such as brakes, or whether the horn was working.

Damage to the train was still being assessed, and KiwiRail was investigating the incident.

The Raurimu Spiral is a single-track railway spiral in the central North Island.


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