KOTA KINABALU - A train carrying 130 people went off the track and hit a parked excavator nearby after the line was switched.
The train from west coast Beaufort district was heading towards the Tanjung Aru train station near here when the incident happened midway about 80km from the state capital at 5.30am yesterday.
Passengers on board the train later took a bus to the city while the train driver and other staff stayed at the site.
Passenger Zubaidah Emti, 60, said she was sleeping when suddenly, the whole train shook and everyone screamed.
"I was so shocked! I thought I was going to die," she said.
The train stopped moving after the intense few moments, she said, adding: "Later, we found out that it was just a slight accident."
Beaufort district police chief Deputy Supt Mustaffa Maarof Mutaffa said they had yet to receive a report about the incident but were monitoring the area.
"We believe the train went off its track because someone had apparently switched the track line and forgot to put it back on," he said.
The nearby excavator was parked there by a contractor in charge of repairing the damaged rail tracks following the massive floods last month.
Membakut and its surrounding areas were among the most severely affected places following the floods which lasted three days.
It is understood that the Sabah Railway Department has started an investigation into the incident.