Published: March 21, 2013
Fire crews from Burnham called to fatal train crash near Taunton

Burnham-On-Sea fire crews were among the emergency services called to deal with the aftermath of a fatal crash on Thursday (March 21st) when a train hit a car on a level crossing.

The train was travelling from Exeter to Paddington when it crashed at about 6.30am at Athelney, near Taunton.

A man inside the car was killed. No-one on the train was hurt, but the 37 passengers were stuck on the First Great Western train for about six hours.

Network Rail said it believed the barriers and lights at the crossing had been working correctly but that full tests would be carried out.

Devon and Somerset Fire Service's Incident Commander Mark Andrews said: "Our Fire & Rescue crews from Taunton, Bridgwater, Street, Middlemoor, Wiveliscombe, Wellington and Burnham worked exceptionally hard under difficult conditions to deal with the incident."

"Without their quick response and that of our emergency service partners, the incident could have been much worse. My thanks go to our Police colleagues in Avon & Somerset Constabulary, British Transport Police and South Western Ambulance Service as well as the local community for their work, support and patience during this incident."

Senior Fire Commander at the scene, Group Manager Paul Cregan, said: "This incident was a significant challenge causing a number of dangerous and difficult circumstances for our Fire and Rescue crews. The train struck the vehicle and then carried it along the tracks eventually stopping over a mile from the crossing."

"Firefighters had to run to the scene carrying firefighting and rescue equipment to deal with the person trapped in the car, deal with the very real risk of a fire occurring as well as dealing with nearly 40 people on the train in terrible weather conditions. Each member of the emergency services did their task exceptionally well and together, as a multi agency team, we resolved the incident thankfully without significant injury or disruption to those involved."


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