Chaotic scenes have been captured at Richmond station in Sydney’s west after passengers were flung from their seats when a train crashed into a barricade this morning.
At least 16 people suffered injuries in the accident which left passengers bleeding and with neck and back pain.
It is believed the train overshot the platform and struck a buffer barricade that marks the end of the track on the T1 Western Line. The train then ricocheted backwards, sending passengers toppling over inside each of the carriages.
NSW Ambulance acting superintendent Stephen Vauthan told media that 16 people were assessed for injuries, the most serious of which being a suspected fractured leg suffered by a 21-year-old male.
Fifteen of those people were then taken to hospital.
“We’ve seen patients complaining of neck pain, back pain as well as a potential fractured leg,” he said.
“At this stage we haven’t been able to confirm the total number of patients on the train.
“We train for the worst and hope for the best and I think on this occasion, our paramedics have worked extremely well with our Fire & Rescue NSW and NSW Police counterparts to treat and assess a large number of patients today.”
As paramedics attended to people onboard, three passengers were also seen to be carried out of the carriages by NSW Ambulance officers while on stretchers.
NSW Ambulance incident commander, Superintendent Paul Turner, said in a statement that there were several passengers who were unable to leave the train without the assistance of paramedics.
“No patients were trapped by compression, however several patients were classified as trapped as they were unable to leave the train without assistance from paramedics,” he said.
“These people are very lucky, it was chaos, things could’ve been much much worse.”
Four of the people transported from the scene by ambulances were taken to Westmead Hospital, five to Blacktown Hospital, four to Nepean Hospital and two to Hawkesbury Hospital.
A bystander who was on the platform at the time of the crash told 9NEWS the train did not appear to brake at all before it collided with the barricade.
“I was on the platform and I was just waiting for the train and I saw it coming in hot, there was no braking whatsoever,” he said.
“It just came straight into the end of the barrier and I just watched everyone in the windows of the train just fly like Superman.”
Another onlooker, Christine Padroth said the train appeared to jump up into the air when it hit the barricade and people rushed from the platform onto the train to help injured passengers.
“You could tell he wasn’t going to stop, he just kept on going and the train sort of flew up in the air and back down again,” she said.
“I saw the people flying through the air and we screamed.
“One guy must have went flying back down the stairs and he just laid there, groaning.”
Photos posted to social media show the chaotic scenes experienced by passengers onboard the train, with blood seen splattered across the floors.
Another image shows a passenger lying on the ground of a carriage after being flung from his seat by the force of the crash.
NSW Police confirmed in a statement that the individuals who suffered injuries in the crash included passengers, two employees and the train’s driver.
“Eleven people were triaged and treated at a nearby oval. Five people remained on the train where they were treated before also being triaged. No one was trapped,” the statement said.
“Their injuries are not considered life threatening.”
Sydney Trains boss Howard Collins told media that he had been made aware of the event and confirmed the incident will be investigated.
“I understand that the train on Platform 2 at Richmond has hit the buffers pretty hard,” he said.
“It is a Waratah train, it is one of our new trains, so we’ll have a lot of good information about the train but it is too early to say (what the cause was).
“My first thoughts are those people who have suffered some sort of injury. We don’t believe any of those are life threatening or serious. There are reports of cuts and bruises, maybe suspected broken ribs for one of my staff.”
Collins also said the NSW government’s Independent Transport Safety Regulator had been informed of the crash and will be assist in the investigation.
Despite his quick response, he told reporters that it is too early to speculate about the possible cause of the incident.
“It is too early to speculate. We will obviously get to the bottom of this. It is a most unusual occurrence for this type of train and this type of incident on the network. Certainly I’m not aware of anything happening since I’ve been here.
“I think as everyone would expect, the top priority here is to manage the incident, give staff and the customers involved assistance we need to give them and then we’ll be back to resolve this incident.”
In light of the crash, Collins said that previously organised talks that were to be had today between Sydney Trains executives and union representatives have been pushed back.
State Transport Minister Andrew Constance also addressed the incident, saying “safety is our number one priority”.
“My thoughts are with Sydney Trains passengers and crew who have been injured after a Waratah train struck a safety barrier at Richmond Station,” he said in a statement.
“As with accidents of this nature, investigators will start work immediately from the Office of Transport Safety Investigations, the Office of National Rail Safety Regulator and Safe Work NSW.”