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Police name two Filipino workers killed in Bay of Plenty car crash with train

Police have named the two Filipino workers killed in a Bay of Plenty car crash with a train on Wednesday.

They are Chary Alonzo Sabalande, 34, and Roymark Solomon Bering, 32.

According to police both had arrived recently from the Philippines and were living and working locally in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Three other people were taken to hospital following the crash.

Two remain in hospital in a critical condition, and one has been discharged.

Emergency services were called to the scene on Wednesday at 8.15am.

Shanelle Whitaker, who lives near the intersection where the accident occurred, told 1 NEWS what unfolded.

"I was just opening the curtains, and I just heard the crunch," Ms Whitaker said.

"I looked up and saw the car flying. [It was] shunted off the track and bowled down the train signpost, and then the yellow vest came flying out of the car.

"I thought it was a person."

Despite the potential for similar accidents at the intersection, Ms Whitaker says the tragedy doesn't make it dangerous for locals.

"I find it pretty safe. It's all what people make of it," she said.

"We've seen a lot of people go over while the bells are going, people just doing silly mistakes. People try and beat the train."

In a statement to 1 NEWS today, NZ Transport Agency addressed the crash.

"Our thoughts are with those involved in this tragic accident and their families," an agency spokesperson said in a statement. "We know the community is calling for improvements to this crossing and we will work with them to make this happen.

"The NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail are working together to deliver a $26 million programme of level crossing safety upgrades across our state highways to prevent deaths and serious injuries at level crossings.

"This work is part of the Government's Safe Networks programme - a collaborative, prioritised programme of proven safety interventions on high risk routes across New Zealand. It uses the safe system approach focusing on safe roads and roadsides, safe and appropriate speeds and safe level crossings."
 

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The tragedy serves as another warning for motorists to take extra care around level crossings. Source: 1 NEWS