UPDATE: Elderly couple injured after train and camper van collide on level crossing near Littleport

An elderly couple were injured after a train and a camper van collided at a level crossing near Littleport.

Two people, believed to be in their 70s, were inside the vehicle when the crash happened.

Paramedics and firefighters took two hours to free the couple from the van after the collision, which happened at 4.40pm where the line crosses the busy A10.

Early reports said three casualties were travelling in the vehicle, but it later emerged the third was a dog who escaped the drama uninjured.

The couple - who have not been named - and their pet were believed to have been on their way home from a holiday when the accident happened.

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The train, which was accelerating as it left nearby Littleport station, came to a halt a few hundred yards up the track from the crossing.

It did not leave the rails and none of the 37 passengers on board was injured.

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Tonight, the road remains closed in both directions and trains between Ely and Downham Market have been halted. The white camper van is still on the crossing.

Commuters face further disruption tomorrow, while crash investigators piece together events leading up to the collision.

Shuttle buses will replace train services between Downham Market - the next stop north on the line - and Littleport.

British Transport Police said: 'BTP and Cambridgeshire Constabulary officers were called to a level crossing on Lynn Road, Littleport, following a report of a serious road traffic collision involving a train and a camper van.

'The camper van collided with the side of the 16:15 Cambridge to Downham Market First Capital Connect service, which remained fully upright and on the tracks. There are no reports of any injuries to passengers or staff onboard at present.

'Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service attended to help free two people from the camper van – a man and a woman.

'At present officers are on scene and are working to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident, including how the camper van came to be on the tracks at the time. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has been notified.'

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: 'One woman has been taken to Addenbrookes Hospital with head and chest injuries.

'She was trapped for some time, and emergency crews worked quickly to free her as soon as possible to assess and start treatment.

'The other occupant, a man in his 70s, suffered less serious injuries and was also taken to Addenbrookes Hospital after he was freed by crews.

'Resources have included ambulances, rapid response vehicle, local managers, air ambulance and the hazardous area reponse team. They have worked extremely hard to get to the patients quickly and safely, and treat as soon as possible.

'Fewer than 40 people were on the train, and no-one presented with any injuries.'

First Capital Connect, which runs train services between King's Lynn and London, said: 'I can confirm at this time that there has been a collision between a train and a road vehicle.

'It was the 16:15 from Cambridge to Downham Market.'

A statement on the train company's website added: 'Emergency services are dealing with an incident between Littleport and Downham Market.

'Because of this, trains are currently unable to run between Ely and Kings Lynn.'

One report said the camper van was overtaking traffic queuing at the crossing barrier whan the accident happened.

The crossing is of the un-manned half barrier type, where lights flash and a single barrier comes down on one side of the road as a train approaches.

Train services between Littleport and Downham Market are expected to be replaced by shuttle buses until tomorrow afternoon.

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