Two people have been flown to Middlemore Hospital with serious injuries after their car was hit by a freight train at a controlled level crossing in South Auckland tonight.

The collision occurred just after 8.30 at the intersection of Hunter and Sedgebrook Roads, Patumahoe.

The crossing was controlled but fitted with lights only and had no barrier arms.

Northern fire communications shift manager Scott Osmond said the crash left the two occupants trapped in the smashed vehicle.

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Fire fighters had to use heavy cutting equipment to free the pair, Mr Osmond said.

The Westpac Helicopter airlifted the two injured to Middlemore Hospital.

Police are still at the scene investigating and the rail track and road intersection remain closed.

Road diversions are in place.