Queensland Rail Train Loses Brake, Hurts 14 as it Runs Off Tracks, Rams Station Toilet

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By Vittorio Hernandez | February 1, 2013 10:50 AM EST

A Queensland passenger train lost its brake on Thursday at 7:55 a.m., causing the train to run off the tracks and ram into a station toilet in Cleveland, east of Brisbane. The accident caused damaged to the toilets and injured 14 people.

Report said that there were 13 passengers, a train driver and a guard aboard the train when the accident occurred. The train's front carriage hit the platform and eventually the toilets, causing live power lined to snap and come down on the middle of the train.

However, the passengers were able to exit from the coach's rear and sustained only minor injuries.

The men's toilets were heavily destroyed while one female was trapped inside the women's toilets which partly imploded due to the impact of the train front carriage. The corrugated iron roof of the train station building, completed only six months ago, was torn to shreds by the impact of the collision.

Prior to the smash-up, the men's toilets were occupied and emptied only seconds prior to the train crash. Among those who narrowly escaped being hurt by the accident was the son of Cleveland Fire Station acting Manager Rob Hawxwell.

A nearby resident described the sound of the collision as similar to a car smashing into a brick wall.

The passengers were treated at the accident scene, but 10 were sent to a hospital as a precaution before they were released.

Queensland Rail said it expects its crew would take 13 hours to remove the three remaining carriages from the accident scene. Cranes were used overnight to lift the damaged carriages from the station

As a result of the mishap, QR suspended services between Cleveland and Wellington Point and is using buses to pick up passengers from the end of the line. QR warned commuters of delays of up to 30 minutes.

Jim Benstead, acting chief executive officer of QR, said he expects the investigation of the train crash would take three months.

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