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Last Updated: Friday, 2 February 2007, 15:14 GMT
One dead in train crossing crash
Three people had to be cut free from the wreckage

One teenager has been killed and two others have been badly injured after a train and car collided at a level crossing in northern Scotland.

The train travelling from Inverness to Wick and a Ford Fiesta were involved in the accident at the automatic Delny Level Crossing near Invergordon.

Northern Constabulary said the three 17-year-olds were cut free from the car after the collision at about 0815 GMT.

The two badly injured teenagers have been taken to hospital for treatment.

They were taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

One was taken by air ambulance and said to be giving cause for concern.

The second was taken to hospital by road.

One of the teenagers has since been transferred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary by RAF helicopter.

Network Rail said the train, the 0714 GMT FirstScotrail service, was not derailed in the crash.

Cutting equipment

None of the 14 passengers was injured, and neither were four rail staff or the train driver on board. Passengers were transferred to coaches so they could continue their journey.

Spokeswoman Susie Haywood added: "It's not a very busy line, there's about one train an hour, and we're hoping disruption will be kept to a minimum."

Firefighters used cutting equipment to remove the trapped driver and passengers from the car.

The Delny crossing is at the brow of a hill about a quarter of a mile from the centre of the small coastal village.

Level crossings are a 19th century solution - in the 21st century it is high time for a commitment to separate rail and road traffic
Bob Crow
RMT Union

Following the accident, the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and politicians issued renewed calls for the removal of level crossings from public roads.

Bob Crow, from the RMT, said: "It is tragic that there has been another death and serious injuries in another collision between a train and a road vehicle at a level crossing.

"It is fortunate that the train was not derailed and that serious injury to the train's passengers and crew appears to have been avoided.

"Level crossings are a 19th century solution - in the 21st century it is high time for a commitment to separate rail and road traffic."

Jamie Stone, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, agreed, saying he was "uneasy" about such crossings.

Level crossing crash
The accident happened just after 0800 GMT on Friday

He added: "At the end of the day, a barrier would ensure safety."

Local householder Mandy MacDonald said of the ungated junction: "My son delivered papers down there this morning and he said there was nothing left of the front of the car.

"I can't believe there's still no barrier at that crossing, just the warning lights."

British Transport Police will carry out an investigation into the incident.

The accident comes a month after an Inverness-Kyle train hit a car on a level crossing in Dingwall.

No-one was injured in the incident.

Network Rail has responsibility for almost 8,000 level crossings - more than 600 of them are in Scotland.

Details of the crash

Train hits car on level crossing
02 Jan 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Drivers spark level crossing fears
02 May 02 |  Scotland
Safety call after rail death
03 Dec 01 |  Scotland

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