TWO pedestrians have been injured after a runaway automated freight train derailed in northern Tasmania.
The TasRail service came off the tracks on Formby Road at Devonport where it hit a fence and sent material flying, around 9am on Friday.
The debris hit a woman, in her 20s, in the head. A man in his 40s was also struck and has a suspected broken elbow and cuts, police said.
A pedestrian has been injured in a train derailment in northern Tasmania. The automated freight train left the tracks and crashed into fencing at a railway station. #7News pic.twitter.com/18MF0CueLj
At least two people have been injured. Picture: Facebook/Sea FM TasmaniaSource:Supplied
Emergency services described the pair’s injuries as minor.
Police Inspector Stuart Wilkinson told reporters that emergency service crews had desperately tried to warn the public about the runaway train before it derailed. “We had all our police vehicles deployed with lights and sirens. That obviously indicated to people there was an issue (but) they wouldn’t have been aware the train was going to derail basically in front of them,” he said.
“Given the timing it was very difficult to get people in place and clear that area.
“It wasn’t clear to us where the train would derail, only that it would and it would be around the area of the wharf.”
The train was out of control for only a short time after becoming “unsteady” near the Devonport silos, minutes before the derailment, Insp Wilkinson said.
“This very quickly came to a stop after the derailment mechanism was activated,” he added.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau told AAP it was gathering information regarding the incident. It’s yet to confirm whether an investigation will be launched.
Emergency services are at the scene and motorists are urged to avoid the area.
– With AAP
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