A WEST Somerset Railway staff member cheated death after being crushed between a steam locomotive and its tender.

A 69-year-old senior member of staff was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital with broken ribs following the incident at Bishops Lydeard station on Friday, February 26.

The 91-tonne steam locomotive number 34053 was brought to the station on two separate lorries, one carrying the steam engine, the other the tender.

The man was crushed between the two parts when the engine and its tender were being reconnected on Friday, February 26.

Paul Conibeare, general manager at West Somerset Railway said: “A senior member of staff was crushed between a steam engine and its tender on Friday. 

“He was rushed to hospital but his injuries were not life-threatening and he has subsequently been released. 

“We cannot say anymore until our internal investigation is complete, and we have not been able to speak to the member of staff involved yet, but many other members of staff have been providing evidence,” Mr Conibeare said.

The locomotive was one a number of guest engines brought in for the Spring Steam Gala to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure Somerset and Dorset Railway.