Occupants that fled a ute that got stuck on train tracks in Matata, near Whakatane last night can thank their lucky stars after the vehicle was found 'wrapped around' an oncoming train.

The Matata Volunteer Fire Brigade got the call out just after 12.30am near Pikowai campsite.

The crew posted on their Facebook page that the occupants had got the vehicle stuck on the tracks trying to cross the line at a non-crossing.

"When they heard the train coming, they made a run for it."


Crews from Matata and Edgecumbe and local police searched both sides of the track for the occupants, while others kept an eye out for any fire risk from the leaking petrol.

St John also attended the scene.

Crews could not locate the occupants and the vehicle was put on to a trailer as crews washed away the petrol.

The Matata Volunteer Fire Brigade said they have had 17 callouts so far this year.