Tram smashes into fire truck at Surfers Paradise
A SURFERS Paradise local held his breath as a fire truck "ran a red light", turning in front of an oncoming tram yesterday morning.
John Zappa was on his way to St Vincent's Catholic Church when the incident unfolded in front of him on the corner of Hamilton Ave and Surfers Paradise Blvd just after 7.30am.
He said he was stopped at the traffic lights when it happened and he couldn't believe his eyes.
"The truck ran the red light," Mr Zappa said.
"It was such a stupid thing to do.
"The fire truck didn't have its lights or siren on.
"I wasn't scared as I knew I was safe but I was surprised by what happened."
Police are continuing to investigate how the Gold Coast tram and fire truck collided.
Authorities closed a small section of the tram tracks in both directions for more than four hours.
The front part of the tram was derailed during the incident, and received damage to the left side of the conductor's booth, with shattered glass and broken plastic panels.
The fire truck was damaged on the right hand side with a twisted side door.
Two firefighters were injured and were believed to have hit their heads on the window during impact.
They were transported to Gold Coast University Hospital with soft tissue injuries and bumps on their heads while a tram conductor was taken to Gold Coast Private Hospital with minor injuries.
Acting senior operations supervisor Justin Payne said paramedics also assessed about 12 passengers that were on board, but none required hospitalisation.
"We work quite well with the QFES employees and staff all the time and (we're) just glad to see that everyone in this incident is in a relatively good condition," he said.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services duty manager Christopher Robinson confirmed there were four firefighters on board and that they had been returning from attending an emergency incident at the time.
Traffic was backed up along Surfers Paradise Blvd and onlookers milled about for hours as emergency services worked to remove the truck and tram.
Police Inspector Mark Pengelly said there had been some indication that either the tram or fire truck had run a red light, but further investigations would confirm what actually occurred.
G:link staff on-site assessed damage and used special blocks and a jack to shift the tram above the tracks so that it could be re-railed.
GoldlinQ communications and stakeholder director Jason Ward said G:link staff were trained for instances like this and were immediately on scene as passengers were removed from the train.
"Customer service staff assisted them to continue their journey," he said.
Visiting tourists Brendon and Kellie Boscence from Canberra were staying in the Q1, just metres away from where the accident occurred.
"We didn't hear anything," he said.
"It was on Sunrise news ... we saw this (tram) not moving (from the window) so went outside to have a look.
He said they had been planning to take the tram to Pacific Fair, but would now have to use the car.
Trams resumed their full service around 12.30pm later that day.