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A five-year-old boy is recovering in hospital in Cairns in far north Queensland after falling from a moving train.
It is believed the boy fell from a doorway on the Sunlander train last night as it travelled slowly between Babinda and Gordonvale, south of Cairns.
His distraught mother reported the boy missing around 7:00pm (AEST).
She had been travelling on the Cairns-bound train with her four children.
Police say a passing motorist found the boy wandering near the tracks beside the Bruce Highway, between the Babinda and Gordonvale about two hours later.
He had suffered cuts and bruises but escaped serious injury.
A Cairns hospital spokeswoman says the boy is stable and doing well.
Senior Queensland Rail (QR) officials have flown to Cairns to offer assistance and work out how the child fell from the train.
QR has withdrawn the Sunlander carriage from service.
The boy has told investigators that he fell through an open door between two carriages.
Passengers at Cairns railway station today said they were not surprised the accident occurred.
One person said the doors were open with no locks on them.
Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says an urgent investigation is underway.
"We don't know how the child fell out of the slow-moving train," she said.
"However I have today immediately ordered an investigation to find out how this could have occurred and to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.
"The information I have is that the mother had four children on the train.
"She noticed one of the children was missing - police were immediately notified.
"He is OK - he's in hospital at the moment and the family are with him."
Ms Palaszczuk says it is a miracle the boy survived.
"This is one very lucky little boy," she said.
"He has very minor injuries - my thoughts are with his family during this time at Christmas.
"All I can say is I think this is our little Christmas miracle.
"As I said this will be fully investigated and no stone will be left unturned and I want to know how this happened and we want to make sure this never happens again."
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) spokesman Owen Doogan says he has never heard of a child falling from a train.
"I certainly know that all safety standards are usually in place and would be surprised if the doors could be opened by a five-year-old," he said.
Mr Doogan says he is very surprised by the accident because safety has been such an important issue for Queensland Rail and the unions.
However, Mr Doogan says there has been an issue with some passengers smoking between the carriages and not properly closing the doors afterwards.
"I don't know what the details are at this point but I know that all safety standards are in place, but until a full investigation, there's not a lot I can say," he said.
"There has been over the last couple of decades the occasional time when someone has either jumped or got off a train.
"Steps have been taken every time to make sure this doesn't happen again and we are really surprised that this would happen.
"It'll be interesting to find out exactly what the circumstances were that allowed such a thing to happen."
A QR report into the incident will be forwarded to the Rail Safety Regulation Branch for review.
Acting Premier Andrew Fraser says the train involved is being replaced, but not until 2014.
"We've already announced that we're replacing the Sunlander with a new modern train, which is actually already under construction up in the workshop in Maryborough," he said.
"But this is a safety issue anyone who's got a five-year-old knows that if you turn around for a couple of minutes, a couple of minutes is all it takes - whether it's near a pool or something else."
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