A 75-YEAR-OLD driver has been taken to Toowoomba Hospital after his car and a coal train collided at Gatton, causing the closure of a rail crossing.
Police said the driver sustained life-threatening internal injuries during the crash between his car and a freight train about 5.50pm at the William Street crossing.
An initial helicopter transfer was ruled out due to wet weather.
The driver and co-driver of the train, the only occupants on board, were not injured.
EARLIER: THE Crescent Street rail crossing in Gatton is blocked after an incident involving a car and a coal train this evening.
While investigations are ongoing, Senior Constable Stephen Barlow of Gatton Police said a car, driven by a 75-year-old male, had entered the rail crossing, and for an 'unknown reason', had then driven east along the rail tracks.
Snr Const Barlow said the car had apparently come to a stop on a set of points on the track, where it was hit from behind by the fully laden coal train.
The man, who remained trapped in his car, was being attended to by ambulance paramedics, while fire and rescue personnel worked to free him from the damaged vehicle.
Witnesses who live alongside the rail line on Hickey Street reported hearing the train's horn blowing for an extended period.
"We heard the train horn, then the sirens," reported one male witness.
"It looked like a shooting star while the car was being dragged along the track," a female witness said.
Another nearby resident said 'there was no big bang, just a long horn, much longer than normal'.
Snr Const Barlow said while there appeared to be no damage to the train or the track, the level crossing between Crescent Street and Gaul Street would remain closed 'at least temporarily'.
"We are asking drivers and pedestrians to find an alternate route as the crossing will be closed for an unknown period of time, and we appreciate everyone's cooperation," he said.
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