A train travelling from the NT to Queensland crashed into a rail junction in the south of the state.
Key points:The crash happened on Monday afternoonThe train derailed and killed four peopleTrain was headed for a railway station in the NT and a nearby townThe train had been headed from Alice Springs to a railway terminal in the ACTRailway has been closed in both directions for more than two weeks due to the incident, and there are delays across the stateThe train crashed into the intersection at the junction of the Northern Territory and ACT tracks, which is about 30km north of Alice Springs.
The accident happened at about 1:15pm (AEDT) on Monday.
Four people were killed and nine were injured in the crash.
A spokeswoman for the NT’s transport department said it had closed both directions of the train at the time of the crash and is working to restore the traffic flow.
The NT State Emergency Service said four people were pronounced dead at the scene, including a four-year-old boy.
Emergency services were still investigating the cause of the accident.
“The rail line between Alice Springs and the NT has been shut down for more of an hour and a half because of a train collision and the emergency services have been unable to assist due to their limited resources,” the NT SES said in a statement.
“Train services are being diverted between Alice Spring and the remote town of Mount Isa.”
Emergency services had been told the accident could have happened if there was a delay of more than one hour, and the interstate rail network was still closed in the area.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the crash was “unfortunate” and that the track was “inoperable”.
“We will continue to monitor the situation to determine the cause,” the NTSB said in its statement.
The Northern Territory Transport Minister has said the accident is a “huge tragedy”.
“This is a very tragic event,” he said.
“This was the most significant collision that I’ve had to deal with in my time as Minister.”
I’m not sure what caused this, but the road is still closed between Alice and Mount Isa, and it will remain so until the investigation is complete.
“He said the government would not reopen the interstate track until the crash is resolved.
The State Emergency Management Agency said the train had stopped at the Alice Springs station and then proceeded southbound through the Alice River and onto the ACT track, where it crashed into another road.”
Due to the high traffic volume, the road was closed for approximately an hour, with heavy traffic volumes,” the agency said in an update.”
It is understood the collision happened near the Alice-Mount Isa intersection.
“It said the road remained closed for a further 24 hours.