A routine resources delivery across Central Queensland’s Rockhampton region tragically ended in a workplace fatality.
A Margate family is grieving the loss of a 49-year-old man whose life was cut short after a coal train and light engine locomotive crashed at Westwood, 51km southwest of the City of the Three Ss.
The deceased was one of three Queensland Rail (QR) employees travelling westbound along the Aurizon network when their locomotive suffered the fatal collision at about 11:20am, on 18 June 2021.
‘Saddened and distressed’
QMEB understands one train was stationary when the other locomotive crashed into it from behind.
“We are deeply saddened and distressed by the incident, and our priority is the welfare of our people and the families of the drivers involved,” QR said in a public statement.
RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS) transported one survivor, aged 43, to Rockhampton Hospital’s emergency department for a suspected fractured arm, leg, head and spine. The third driver was declared dead at the scene.
“Four persons were involved, one reported to be unharmed, while another was transported to Rockhampton Hospital by road [via] Queensland Ambulance paramedics,” RACQ CHRS said on Facebook.
QR has already contacted the National Rail Safety Regulator and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, and promises to cooperate fully with all investigations.
“Queensland Rail is grateful for the efforts of Queensland [Fire and] Emergency Services personnel and the Aurizon team who attended the scene,” the company said.
“Given the nature of the incident, it is not appropriate to comment or speculate further on the potential cause.”
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Queensland Police Service’s forensic crash unit is investigating the incident.
Image courtesy of the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service’s Facebook page.