Train-truck crash in Australia leaves 6 dead, at least 12 injured

A train crashed into a semitrailer truck in southern Australia on Tuesday, killing six people and seriously injuring at least 12 more, police and hospital officials said.

The Melbourne-bound passenger train slammed into the truck at a crossing near Kerang in Victoria state around 1:40 p.m. (0340 GMT), killing six people, said police official Wendy Willingham.

At least 12 were seriously injured in the collision, Robert Jarman, the chief executive of Kerang District Hospital, told Sky News television.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash between the truck and train, which was carrying 40 passengers and crew, Jarman said.

Sky News said the locomotive's two front carriages derailed and flipped onto their sides, completely separated from the remaining four cars.

Aircraft were being prepared to take the injured to Melbourne or other major regional hospitals, Jarman said.

"We would think that probably about 50 percent of those injured will come here to Kerang Hospital, and probably two or three would be airlifted out to Melbourne because there are some very seriously injured," he said.

Local media quoted police saying the truck's driver had been taken a nearby hospital in critical condition, but Jarman could not confirm the reports.

Kerang is about 280 kilometers (175 miles) by road northwest of the state capital, Melbourne.

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