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Friday 1 August 2014

Woman has lucky escape after car and train collide

Caroline Crawford

Published 09/06/2014|15:34

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A WOMAN had a lucky escape after the car she was travelling in collided with a train.

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The incident, which has led to two separate investigations being initiated, occurred at 6.30pm on Sunday evening at the Knockaphunta railway crossing in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Emergency services and garda rushed to the scene and the woman was taken to Mayo General Hospital. However, her injuries were not serious and she has since been discharged.

The woman 'scar collided with the side of the train and she sustained minor injuries. No one on the train, which was travelling from Heuston in Dublin to Westport, was injured.

Iarnrod Eireann and The Rail Accident Investigation Unit are now carrying out separate investigations into the incident.

Local councillor Michael Kilcoyne is now calling on Iarnrod Eireann to carry out long awaited works on the crossing.

“Iarnrod Eireann has had planning to put a bridge in place at this junction since 2012 but no works have been carried out yet. They need to erect a bridge or put an automated system in place here. Currently there are just manual gates which drivers must open and close as they cross over,” he said.

Mr Kilcoyne said that up to 100 cars a day use the crossing and described the current situation as “extremely dangerous”.

“This poses a very serious risk to the community and it has to be eliminated. I'm calling on Iarnrod Eireann and the Department of Transport to take action immediately on this,” he added.

A spokesperson for Iarnrod Eireann, Barry Kenny, said the works set to be undertaken at the site were significant and that the funding for such works was not available at this point in time.

Mr Kenny urged drivers at any manual crossing to always ensure they close the gates after them for the safety of other vehicles. He said the Knockaphunta crossing was one where the company had seen a significant amount of misuse.

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