21 people were injured after the
first of the service's two carriages derailed at Little Cornard,
Suffolk, on Tuesday 17th August
The 5.31pm National Express East
Anglia service, which was carrying about 30 passengers and thought
to have been travelling at between 50mph and 60mph when it cut a
tanker in two as it made its way from Sudbury to Marks Tey.
The two-carriage diesel train collided with a 44-ton tanker as it
proceeded over the rail line to the Sudbury Sewage Works. This crossing
is used frequently by effluent tankers either delivering sewage
for treatment or taking away waste material from the works.
"The crossing is a user worked
crossing" with gates and telephone. This means it is a
private road crossing where any vehivle owner should use the phone
provided and request permission to cross.
The Network Rail signaller
did not receive any such phone call from the user of the crossing.
The 38year old Lithuanian tanker driver was arrested immediately
after the collision on several rail offences.
The train driver had very little warning as he came around the bend.
Several passengers in the front coach, said he engaged the emergency
brake and ran back into the carriage warning the customers of an
This prompt action no doubt saved
One passenger who received severe
abdominal injuries after becoming trapped on the train was taken
to Addenbrookes Hospital by Air Ambulance in a critical condition.
Five other victims - three
men and two women - were kept in Colchester Hospital overnight with
fractures and cuts while fifteen other passengers also received
Witnesses spoke of hearing a sound
like a bomb explosion when the train and truck collided at 5.35pm,
and then seeing dazed, bleeding passengers wandering around next
to the track. Within minutes all of the Emergency Services were
in attendance including the Air Ambulance.
Colchester General Hospital was put on the highest alert for incoming
The B1508 road between Bures
and Sudbury was closed Wednesday evening and all day Thursday to
allow heavy lifting gear to access the site.
Normal rail service resumed
on Friday at 0530.
Tanker driver Arvydas Bartasius appeared
before magistrates in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on the following
Friday accused of "endangering the safety of railway users
by driving a lorry on to the level crossing without notifying railway
He was bailed to appear on a later