Passenger tells of 'almighty bang' as train hits tractor near Welshpool

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Media captionSupt Andy Morgan of British Transport Police said it was "very fortunate" that more people had not been hurt

A passenger has spoken of an "almighty bang" and screams after a train hit a tractor on a level crossing in Powys.

Two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries and both drivers were left shaken after the collision near Welshpool.

"Several people at the front were screaming," said Greg Nickson, one of more than 100 passengers.

A doctor on the Birmingham to Aberystwyth train said it was "incredible" so few were injured.

Rail services were suspended between Shrewsbury and Machynlleth.

A 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of endangering safety after the incident near Buttington Crossing at 11:49 BST.

Mr Nickson said the conductor had just finished checking tickets when the crash happened.

"I lurched forward in my seat and my phone and drink went flying, as well as my bag next to me," he told BBC Wales.

"There was a lot of smoke and dust coming past the windows and the train slowed down very fast."

Mr Nickson said the front right glass window of the train was badly damaged but still intact.

"I remember the conductor running down the aisle screaming the driver's name.

"The driver compartment was heavily damaged, the front metal door was bent, the glass smashed and debris from the driver compartment was on the floor at the front.

"Several people at the front were screaming."

Image caption An image of the scene of the crash, taken by a passenger

He added the driver was "fine, just a bit shaken".

"The conductor said there were 104 passengers on board."

Dr Harri Pritchard, from Anglesey, was in the second carriage of the train and gave first aid to some of the passengers.

"The jolt was not as bad in the second carriage but people in the first had fallen over.

"Some people were suffering from shock and minor cuts, it's incredible really that there were so few injuries.

"It's ironic too that I was on the train because I'm part of the support team for Cerddwn Ymlaen (Walk On, a 220-mile walk in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance) and two air ambulances attended this incident."

Supt Andy Morgan from British Transport Police (BTP) said: "Our investigation is continuing into the cause of the collision, including piecing together exactly how the vehicle came to be on the tracks at the time.

"As part of that investigation, a 27-year-old man has this afternoon been arrested on suspicion of endangering safety. He has been taken to a police station, where he is assisting my officers with their enquiries.

Image caption British Transport Police said there had been a significant amount of damage caused to the train

"Measures are now in place to remove the vehicle from the tracks and recover the train.

"Officers from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) are currently on site and have begun their investigation."

He added: "There's a substantial amount of damage to the front of the train, as there is to the vehicle that's been struck, but very fortunately only two minor injuries have been sustained by passengers that were on the train and by the driver of the vehicle that was struck."

Dyfed-Powys Police attended the incident and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent four engines.

The Welsh Ambulance Service sent four emergency ambulances and one doctor to the scene.

"In addition, two heli-med helicopters and the hazardous area response team (Hart) were mobilised but not required," said an ambulance service spokesperson.

"Two patients were treated at the scene for minor injuries and conveyed to the minor injuries unit in Welshpool."

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