Van driver hurt as train and van collide in Powys

Crane lifts van out of ditch
Image caption A crane was called in to lift the badly damaged van out of the ditch

A van driver suffered chest and back injuries after the vehicle was in collision with a train on a crossing in Powys.

The van ended up on its roof in a ditch at Pikins Crossing near Carno at 12:35 GMT.

The man, 36, was treated by paramedics before being flown to hospital.

The incident involved the 10:09 Arriva Trains Wales service between Birmingham to Aberystwyth but no passengers were injured although the driver was shaken.

Image caption The line reopened about five-and-a-half hours and the collision

The line reopened by about 15:40 GMT, after replacement bus services fan between Shrewsbury and Machynlleth.

Four fire crews were called to the scene and dealt with a small diesel leak and making the scene safe.

The van belonged to a firm from the Welshpool area, and a crane later lifted it from the ditch.

Ralph Atkins, who owns B D Atkins Dairy Engineers based in Llandrinio, said that driver of the van was Daniel Bellis, who had worked at the company for two years.

Mr Atkins's wife went to the hospital with Mr Bellis's partner, where they were waiting for the results of an assessment of spinal injuries.

Mr Atkins said: "I'm just sitting here waiting for news. I just have my fingers crossed that the spinal injuries he has sustained are just minor.

"The damage to the van is irrelevant compared to the injuries".

The single track rail line runs through the single-track crossing between the villages of Carno and Llanbrynmair and is surrounded by fields and woodland.

British Transport Police said the crossing was operated by those wanting to cross telephoning a signalman beforehand.

Part of the investigation will focus on whether the telephone was used before the crash.

Police said the train remained upright and on the tracks after the collision.

The driver of the van was airlifted by air ambulance to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital with neck and chest injuries but they were not believed to be life-threatening.

An investigation into the incident is underway and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has also been informed.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We are taking this incident extremely seriously and we will be working closely with the British Transport Police and other relevant authorities in the investigation."

British Transport Police said anyone with information about the collision was asked to call 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 286 of 16/02/2012.

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