updated 10/23/2006 3:47:03 PM ET 2006-10-23T19:47:03

A commuter train heading into Boston struck a flatbed truck that had bottomed out on a railroad crossing, injuring 19 people Monday morning, authorities said.

The driver of the truck, which was hauling construction equipment, had walked up the tracks to try to warn the approaching train, but the engineer was unable to stop in time, said Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Construction equipment on the truck swung around when the train hit and smashed into one of the passenger coaches and another nearby vehicle.

Eighteen people and the engineer, who warned passengers to brace for impact, were hurt in the 8 a.m. crash, he said. Most had been released from hospitals by afternoon.

“The crossing is at a slight incline. The low-bed truck bottomed out and became stuck on the tracks,” Pesaturo said. He said a sign warned that such trucks shouldn’t attempt that crossing.

Transit police and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating.

Franklin is about 40 miles southwest of Boston.

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