Children among 40 people injured after train and school bus collide near Palmerston North
Forty people have been injured after a school bus was hit by a train near Palmerston North this morning.
Six children have been taken to Palmerston North Hospital with moderate to minor injuries.
Emergency services were alerted to the serious crash just after 8am at the intersection of Railway Road and Clevely Line in Bunnythorpe.
St John said it assessed 40 patients at the scene, whose conditions varied from moderate to minor.
A resident near the crash site said it appeared the front of the school bus was hit by the train and that there were children with minor injuries.
Police are also at the scene and say no children have been seriously injured, but some are being treated for minor injuries.
The number of children on the bus is being counted.
Four ambulances and a rapid response team have been sent to the scene.
Parents who wish to collect their children are asked to make themselves known to an officer at the scene.
KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller said the company was shocked to learn of this morning’s collision, and had sent staff to work with emergency services.
The level crossing on Cleverly Line is protected by flashing lights and bells.
The train driver is physically unharmed but shaken by the incident and is being supported by staff on site, he said.
The North Island main trunk line is closed between Marton and Palmerston North.
Diversions are in place and motorists are asked to avoid the area.