The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating the collision between a semitrailer truck and a train near Katherine, Northern Territory on 14 June 2023.
At 1055 local time, the truck, travelling in an easterly direction, entered the Florina Road level crossing into the path of Aurizon train 2AD1 travelling from Adelaide, South Australia to Darwin, Northern Territory. The collision between the lead locomotive and trailer of the truck resulted in the derailment of two locomotives, crew car and several trailing wagons from the train. The locomotives, several trailing wagons and the trailer from the truck were destroyed. The crew of 2AD1 sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital. The truck driver was uninjured.
The ATSB has undertaken the examination and analysis of the initial evidence collected. To date the ATSB investigation has included:
- interviewing train crew and road vehicle driver
- analysis of recorded data
- review of level crossing protection equipment installation
- review of operational standards and emergency procedures
The ATSB considers there to be a reasonable likelihood of limitations in risk controls relevant to the occurrence. Examination of these factors represent an increase in the scope of this investigation, and it has been upgraded from short to defined as a result. The ATSB's different levels of investigation are detailed here.
The continuing investigation will include further analysis of:
- rolling stock standards applicable to locomotives and crew vans
- operator's risk controls applicable to the access and egress from locomotives and crew vans
- operator's risk controls applicable to emergency communication systems
- locomotive emergency detection and location systems
- other related occurrences
Should a critical safety issue be identified during the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties, so that appropriate safety action can be taken. A final report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation.