Pair cut from car after freight train collision

Two women were cut from car after it collided with a freight train at a level crossing in Patumahoe last night.

The two women, aged 22 and 23, were taken by Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Auckland Hospital in a serious condition but were stable this morning.

They were expected to be released from hospital in the next few days.

The Counties Manukau Police Serious Crash Unit was still investigating but said the crossing's lights and bells were going when the women's Nissan Lucino was hit.

The Patumahoe Volunteer Fire Brigade were called to the scene just after 8.30pm to rescue the women, who were trapped in their car.

They were at the scene for three hours and used most of their rescue gear to cut the driver and the passenger free from the car.

Pukekohe Volunteer Fire Brigade Fire Chief Scott Darnill said his crew also attended the crash.

''[The car] was pretty well damaged just a short way down the track,'' he said. ''It was pretty chaotic when we first got there but the Patumahoe crew had it pretty well in hand.''

Crash investigator Constable Hollie Given said the two women were very lucky not to receive more serious injuries.

''The impact of a train hitting a vehicle is devastating and in this case, we are very glad that we did not attend a fatal incident,'' she said.

''We advise everyone travelling near train tracks to be aware of their surroundings and be prepared to stop as soon as you see flashing lights or ringing bells at a level crossing. Never attempt to cross the tracks before the train.''