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Investigators have begun sifting through the wreckage of a train that derailed north of Melbourne last night, killing two people and injuring a dozen.
The XPT train, which was carrying 153 passengers, was travelling from Sydney to Melbourne when it derailed at Wallan shortly before 8:00pm.
The impact killed the train's driver and another person, who police would only identify as a railway worker.
The driver's next of kin has been notified, but their colleague is yet to be identified.
One passenger was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with upper body injuries. Another eight people were taken to the Northern Hospital with minor injuries.
Three others were also taken to Kilmore hospital with minor injuries.
Acting Inspector Peter Fusinato said Victoria Police would be working with the National Rail Safety Regulator and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to determine what caused the crash.
"Obviously we've still got a major crime scene there, we've still got two deceased that we need to remove," he said.
"That'll be our main focus, humanely looking after them as best we can."
The initial investigation will take days and must be completed before the wreckage can be cleared.
The derailment was so powerful that the train's engine and first carriage was left on its side. Both the driver and the worker were in the same area of the train when it came off the tracks.
The tracks that the train was travelling on have also been damaged.
"It would have been looking like a horrific scene," Acting Inspector Fusinato said, adding it was a "miracle" that most of the passenger injuries were minor.
"I've just been down and walked the scene and yeah I'm very surprised that there weren't more serious injuries.
"We're very fortunate in that regard."
'You just hang on for grim death'A Sydney couple who were on their way to visit their son in Melbourne said the crash and its aftermath were terrifying. They've cancelled their return trip.
"You just hang on for grim death. You're being thrown around, the thing's going along tilting over and all you can look out the window and just see dirt and debris and stuff flying up past the windows and the track itself is just twisted and bent," the man said.
"It probably went about 150 metres before it stopped, there were carriages going sideways — pretty horrifying."
The woman said her thoughts were with those who had died.
"We're very sad about that. Two people who went off to work this morning and never went home," she said.
'People started moving around, luggage went flying'Dr Scott Rickard was in the second carriage of the train during the derailment and said that it came to a sudden and fast stop.
"Stuff flew off our tables, people started moving around, luggage went flying, that kind of thing,” she said.
"Our carriage finished on an angle."
Dr Rickard said she was stuck on the train for about 10 minutes after it derailed.
"There were people lying all over the place and we had to kind of make sure people weren't injured," she said.
Many passengers were able to make their way to a nearby service station, which was set up as a triage area.
But police said there were still more than a dozen people who remained unaccounted for, possibly because they had left the scene without speaking to emergency services.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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