Passenger train derails in Australia

An early morning commuter train in Australia derailed on Wednesday after hitting an abandoned vehicle, trapping the driver and wounding several others.

Authorities said the four-car train hit the car in Wollongong, just 56 miles south of Sydney, at 4:15am local time, knocking the first carriage over and tilting the second.

Firefighters rescued the train driver, who was taken to hospital along with a guard and two of the train's nine passengers.

New South Wales police superintendent Craig Ireland told reporters the investigation is still ongoing.

"It doesn't appear to be a case of a simple breakdown, and the fact that someone's run from the scene prior to it indicates that it's either deliberate or some sort of misadventure driving the car in that area on the tracks."

Police set up a crime scene after a person was reported running away from the site of the incident.

It was not known how long the van had been parked on the tracks.

Wednesday's derailment further adds to commuter problems in Sydney.

Train drivers had already planned a strike against privatisation plans on Wednesday which was expected to shut down 70% of trains.

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