Two people in a car involved in a collision with a train in Te Puke today were lucky to escape with only minor injuries.
The freight train was heading towards Kawerau when it collided with the car at a level crossing between Te Maunga and Te Puke, a KiwiRail spokeswoman said.
"Following standard procedure, the locomotive engineer has been relieved of their duties."
The incident on Collins Lane, off the Te Puke Highway, happened just before 4pm and emergency services attended the scene shortly after.
The driver of the train told the Bay of Plenty Times he did not see the car. He said it was lucky no one was killed.
A police media spokeswoman said the two occupants of the vehicle were able to get out of the car.
They received minor injuries and were treated at the scene by ambulance staff.
"Inquiries are ongoing to understand the circumstances of the incident."
A woman, who did not wish to be named, was working at EastPack on Collins Lane when she got a call to say one of their employees had been involved in the crash.
The woman said one of two girls, in their 20s, inside the vehicle was a seasonal worker at the Te Puke company.
She said the girl had been picked up from work and was a passenger in the car when the incident happened.
"They are both very shaken," she said.
She said both girls had walked out of the vehicle and were being assessed by ambulance staff.
A Bay of Plenty Times reporter at the scene said the damaged yellow car was off to the side of the tracks, which were blocked by the train until about 5.10pm.
There were several trucks backed up waiting to cross the lines.