A passenger train travelling to Southend was 'six seconds from hitting a lorry' which had been caught on a level crossing in Thurrock.

An investigation has been launched by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) into the near-miss incident which happened on the level crossing at Mucking on March 13.

The cement mixer lorry had been reversing into a nearby building site when the barriers began to lower.

Investigators have reported that the lorry driver stopped reversing after the barrier lowered onto it and remained stationary for about eight seconds until construction site staff manually lifted the barrier.

The preliminary documents state the lorry then continued to reverse off the crossing six seconds before the passenger train traversed the crossing at a speed of 56mph - below the 60mph speed limit.

The train driver saw the lorry reversing away from the railway as he travelled around the curved approach to the level crossing but did not apply the brake.

The train formed the 11.11am service from London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central and the incident happened at about 11.58am.

Work at the construction site was being undertaken by contractors working for Network Rail on a project to upgrade the railway power supply between London and Southend.

The investigation will look into the sequence of events and consider the actions of the lorry driver and construction team, the project team's awareness and mitigation of risks associated with working near level crossings and any underlying management factors.

The findings will be published at a later date.