A COAL train that derailed at a level crossing in Central Queensland could be heard more than 10km away.

Sarina woman Julie McLucas spent the weekend at her brother's property on Boroondara Rd near Dysart when she heard a loud noise she initially thought was the start of a summer storm.

An Aurizon coal train derailed on a level crossing between Dysart and Middlemount about 1pm Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas
An Aurizon coal train derailed on a level crossing between Dysart and Middlemount about 1pm Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas

"We were just getting ready to leave and were saying our goodbyes," Ms McLucas said.

"It was really muggy and then my brother heard a loud noise and we thought it was thunder; it was very loud.

 

An Aurizon coal train caught fire after a crash on the weekend. Picture: Julie McLucas
An Aurizon coal train caught fire after a crash on the weekend. Picture: Julie McLucas

"But then we heard nothing else which we thought was strange.

"Then we got in the car to leave and got 10km down the road to the crossing and saw the train."

 

An Aurizon coal train made a big bang when it derailed. Picture: Julie McLucas
An Aurizon coal train made a big bang when it derailed. Picture: Julie McLucas

An Aurizon spokesman this morning confirmed a locomotive and a number of wagons, believed to be as many as 30, derailed on the line just after 1pm Sunday.

The drivers were not injured.

"Aurizon has mobilised recovery crews," the spokesman said.

"It is anticipated the recovery will take a number of days and there will be train cancellations as a result.

"Aurizon has notified customers who operate coal mines in this area."

 

 

An Aurizon coal train derailed on a level crossing between Dysart and Middlemount about 1pm Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas
An Aurizon coal train derailed on a level crossing between Dysart and Middlemount about 1pm Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas

 

The rail line was extensively damaged as a result of the incident which also brought down powerlines, sparking a grassfire near the felled wagons.

The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau said it was aware of the derailment with further inquiries being undertaken to determine if an investigation would be launched.

 

An Aurizon coal train derailed on a level crossing between Dysart and Middlemount about 1pm Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas
An Aurizon coal train derailed on a level crossing between Dysart and Middlemount about 1pm Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas

Ms McLucas said she was forced to backtrack down Boroondara Rd as the level crossing was closed.

She described the wagons as being "concertinaed", with her photos showing the derailed wagons slammed up beside the others.

 

An Aurizon coal train derailed on a level crossing between Dysart and Middlemount about 1pm Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas
An Aurizon coal train derailed on a level crossing between Dysart and Middlemount about 1pm Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas

 

"One of the engines in the middle was right on the road (but) was still upright," she said.

She estimated temperatures to be about 37C, with the bitumen around the crossing melting and sticking to the shoes of those walking around at the scene.

Carriages of the Aurizon coal train that derailed between Dysart and Middlemount on Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas
Carriages of the Aurizon coal train that derailed between Dysart and Middlemount on Sunday. Picture: Julie McLucas

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