Train Crash : Latest
A 38-year-old man will appear in court today in connection with with a crash which left 21 people injured when a train hit a sewage tanker on a level crossing.
The first of the train's two carriages was derailed in the crash at Little Cornard, Suffolk, late on Tuesday.
Suffolk Police said the man - who was driving the tanker - would appear before magistrates in Bury St Edmunds today charged with endangering the safety of the railway.
The 1731 National Express East Anglia service, which was carrying about 20 passengers and thought to have been travelling at between 50mph and 60mph, cut the tanker in two as it made its way from Sudbury, Suffolk, to Marks Tey, Essex.
Locals said they helped bleeding and dazed passengers off the train and told of hearing a sound "like a bomb''.
Police said seven people were kept in hospital overnight, including a 58-year-old man who suffered severe abdominal injuries.
Officers have yet to name the man charged but said he comes from Ely, Cambridgeshire.
17-year old student Lee Bloomfield from Colchester was on board the train at the time of the crash and said: "There was a really sudden collision, all of a sudden everything just shot forwards. It was quiet, no one was screaming - I think everyone was in shock. There was quite a few people injured from what I could see."
Lee fortunately only suffered minor bruising in the collision - you can hear our full interview with him by clicking on the link.
The collision at Great Cornard has once again reignited the debate about level crossings.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said: "Once again we have seen a crash at a level crossing, leaving many passengers and train staff seriously injured.
"The fact is that every level-crossing collision is avoidable, because the time is long overdue for a programme to eliminate level crossings from Britain's railway network.''
He went on: "On NR's own figures, it would cost an average of #1 million to replace each level crossing with an underpass or road bridge - that's about half the cost of a mile of motorway.
"Level crossings are a 19th century solution. In the 21st century it is high time for a commitment to separate rail and road traffic.''