A CAR containing four passengers broke down on a level crossing and was hit by a train in a training exercise staged by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A CAR containing four passengers broke down on a level crossing and was hit by a train in a training exercise staged by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The scenario tested the response to a level crossing emergency, and involved fire and ambulance crews as well as train companies.

Inside the car were four passengers who had been severely injured in the collision. The train driver was also injured, as were three Network Rail employees who had been working on the line at the time.

The exercise involved Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), Network Rail, First Capital Connect, the British Transport Police and HART ambulance team.

The teams worked together to ensure that the casualties were rescued and treated by paramedics as quickly as possible. They also worked to clear the track and carry out investigations quickly to ensure that the normal train services could be resumed.

Matt Murdoch, station manager for CFRS, which organised the exercise near Ely, said: "Exercises like this are an important way to test our procedures and to ensure that we work quickly and effectively with our partner agencies during emergency incidents.

"We are always looking to challenge ourselves at exercises, and this railway crossing was a perfect location to really test ourselves. It is always extremely valuable to train in unfamiliar environments.

"I'd like to thank all Network Rail for allowing us to use the track and all of the agencies involved for treating the exercise with the same professionalism as a real incident."