Trapped woman hit by freight train

Rescuers desperately tried to free a woman trapped on rail lines as a train approached this morning.

The westbound freight train hit two people on a level crossing at Morningside train station in Auckland about 9.10am. One person is in a serious condition in hospital and another suffered minor injuries.

Shocked witnesses watched as a woman on a mobility scooter got stuck on the crossing.

One witness, who wanted to be known only as Megan, said the woman got her wheels stuck on the tracks. Another woman and a man tried to free her when they saw the train coming.

Megan said a third person came "flying in like Superman" to try to free the woman.

By that stage the train driver had seen them and was desperately sounding the horn, which could be heard hundreds of metres away, but he could not avoid the impact, which Megan said was "horrific".

She thought two of the rescuers managed to jump free. The woman who was helping had a bloodied knee but she didn't know if that was from the impact or falling to the ground.

Megan said she couldn't believe what she had just seen. "I just sat in the car for a minute saying 'did that really happen?"'

Some people who saw the incident were too shocked to speak and were being comforted by Victim Support.

One man fought back tears as he recalled the desperate attempts to free the woman. He didn't know how the woman had been stuck on the tracks and watched in horror as the rescuers shook the wheelchair to try to free her.

The twisted remains of the wheelchair were visible under the train.

Police are investigating the incident.

- By Andrew Koubaridis of the NZ Herald/additional reporting Herald Online



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