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Polish train crossing accident sees 19 people taken to hospital

Nineteen people have been taken to hospital - including seven with life-threatening injuries - after a train hit a flat-bed truck at an unguarded railway crossing in south-western Poland.

A number of other people suffered less severe injuries in the partial derailment in the village of Schodnia.

The accident occurred at about 3pm local time when a Pendolino intercity train carrying some 300 passengers hit the vehicle, national firefighters spokesman Pawel Fratczak said.

The train damaged its protruding front section and partially derailed but remained upright. The truck driver was not hurt, Mr Fratczak said.

Regional police spokeswoman Monika Mrugala said seven of those injured were in life-threatening condition.

Some of the injured were airlifted to a hospital while others were taken there by ambulances.

Ms Mrugala said the truck was transporting another truck on its trailer when it was hit at the crossing, which has no barriers, only warning lights.

The truck was badly damaged and its make could not be immediately determined, she said.

Images from the site showed both vehicles lying by the railway tracks. Police were investigating the cause of the accident.

The railway tracks at the crash site need to be repaired and rail traffic will probably not be restored before next Thursday, according to Cezary Nowak, a spokesman for Poland's state railway PKP.

Italian-made Pendolino trains operating in Poland have a top speed of 87 mph.

Passengers who were not injured were taken to a nearby restaurant and then put on buses by PKP to continue their journey.


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