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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 August, 2003, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Man killed in miniature train crash
The derailed engine and carriages
Witnesses said there had been about 50 people on the train
The driver of a miniature train has died and two other people have been injured after the train collided with a car.

The collision happened just before 1130 BST on a level crossing over the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.

Kent Police on Sunday evening named the dead man as Kevin Crouch, who was 31 and from Mottingham in south-east London.

Fire crews at the scene had tried to free him from the wreckage, but confirmed at just before 1330 BST that he had died.

Police said Mr Crouch worked as a seasonal light railway driver.

Ambulance crews treated a woman and baby girl who were in the car and they were taken to hospital in Ashford.

About 50 people were on the train, witnesses said, when it collided with a blue Ford Escort on the level crossing over Burmarsh Road in Dymchurch.

Not the first accident

Most of them were able to walk from the scene, although about 20 are thought to have been treated for shock or minor cuts and bruises.

The car which collided with the train
A woman and child in the car were treated for injuries

The engine and some of the train's carriages were derailed.

Kent Police and the Health & Safety Executive will both be carrying out investigations into the incident.

The privately-owned 15-inch gauge steam railway opened in July 1927 and operates one-third scale trains on a 13 mile route between Hythe and Dungeness near the Kent coast.

It is thought the trains travel over the level crossing where the crash happened at a maximum speed of about 15mph.

A spokesman for the railway, which operates over the summer tourist season between April and September, said: "The accident has happened at one of our level crossing gates.

Map of the area the railway serves

"There are flashing lights at the level crossing, but there are no gates, so at this stage it appears it has been an accident.

"Clearly we will launch an investigation, but our first priority must be to help the emergency services and clear the line and the road, which is a public road.

"This is not the first accident we have had on our railway, but they are very few and far between.

"We are assisting the emergency services as best we can."

Car wrecked

Kate Cowell, owns Dolly Plum Cottage, a guest house near the scene of the crash.

She told BBC Radio Kent: "I didn't actually see the crash itself, but I heard it and went straight out of the door.

"It was just sheer devastation, it was so sad, the car's just absolutely wrecked.

"When I heard the crash noise I knew it wasn't a normal car crash, you just know.

"We've had a crash up here before and you know when it's not just cars."

The BBC's Richard Lister
"There have been similar incidents in the past"

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