A SURVIVOR of a rail crash that killed one man and injured up to 12 others at a level crossing in Melbourne’s south-east has described his terror when his train collided with a semi-trailer.
Bill Graham was on the second carriage of a Cranbourne-bound train on Saturday morning when the front carriage took the impact of the smash.
”I heard this really loud bang and I could see this big truck crossing the road and the front carriage just got turned around about 90 degrees,” he said. ”I couldn’t see the driver because of all the dust and smoke, I only saw the back end of the truck. It had almost made it across the crossing but I can’t remember whether the boom gates were down or not.
”The train carriages were rattling all over the place and the train tracks were all bent up. I held on to the rail above my seat pretty tightly until it was all over and just hoped for the best.”
The 64-year-old retiree from Glen Waverley said it took about a minute for the train to come to a complete stop. He estimated about 20 passengers were aboard at the time of the impact, which came shortly after the train left Dandenong station on its way to Lynbrook station.
”After the bang I didn’t hear any people screaming – there was just too much noise from the train itself,” Mr Graham said. ”It just kept going and then it gradually slowed down and I was able to get off through the third carriage with two other guys who were down the back. We managed to get off out the side door. I saw a couple of people in my carriage who had some cuts and grazes but I was lucky, I didn’t have to go to hospital.”
Mr Graham said the incident had shaken him up, particularly when he heard a fellow passenger had died. ”It was a terrible shock,” he said. ”It just makes you value your life.”
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