Survivors tell of miracle escape

THE crumpled wreckage of a lorry trailer with the contents spilling into the river stood as a sign of the seriousness of today's accident.All around the scene emergency services and rail track workers began their investigations into what so could easily have been a tragedy.

By Jo Macdonald

THE crumpled wreckage of a lorry trailer with the contents spilling into the river stood as a sign of the seriousness of today's accident.

All around the scene emergency services and rail track workers began their investigations into what so could easily have been a tragedy.

The one-carriage train which collided with the articulated lorry which had been carrying roles of agricultural fleece remained upright on the tracks only a few metres away.

In a nearby field the dozens of passengers who had fortunately escaped without serious injury patiently waited for mini buses to take them home or onto their destinations.

They were shaken but calm as they recalled the moment of impact.

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Matt Bray, 20 had been travelling from his home in Lowestoft to Suffolk College and had only been on the train having missed the earlier connection. He said: "I was just sitting there listening to music when there was suddenly a big jolt. The train started shaking but I didn't know what was happening.

"It took off and shook about it was very scary and people fell on the fall and there were bags flying.

"When it stopped there was a lady lying next to me on the floor, I helped her up, her nose was dripping with blood.

"Everyone was in shock but the guy next to me called the emergency services."

Phillida Dwelly had been travelling from Halesworth to a reunion in London and was full of praise for the driver and conductor who had kept everyone calm. She said: "I can remember the noise of the brakes and hearing a big bang and then seeing something red come past the window, it was the cover of the back of the trailer. I knew we had hit something.

"Everyone was very calm, the conductor was excellent and checked everyone was ok. The driver came out to see to us as well.

"Everyone helped each other, we were in shock but there was no panic."

Another woman Diane Thomas who was also travelling from Halesworth also thanked the train staff. She said: "The two chaps were excellent they were wonderful and assured us that the emergency services were on the way."

All the passengers knew how lucky they had been. Mrs Dwelly said: "I just can't believe how lucky we are. It could have been appalling.

"We are just very relieved that it was not as bad as it could have been."

Assistant Divisional Officer Paul Seager, who was on the scene with Suffolk fire fighters also highlighted that had the train not stayed upright the incident could have been far more serious. He said: "It could have been a lot worse had the train not stayed on the rails and had instead rolled down the bank.

"Luck was on our side today."

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