A freight train smashed in Biloxi, Mississippi into a charter bus, pushing the bus down to 300 feet and leaving four people dead. The rescuers had to spend over an hour to remove passengers and this was done by cutting through the bus frame that was damaged heavily and this was done to extract two last people.
The bus was straddling the tracks and had apparently stopped on the tracks as the 52-car train, pulled by three locomotives, slammed into it, said John Miller, Biloxi Police Chief. Miller said the Echo Transportation bus was from Austin, Texas, carrying passengers to one of the eight casinos of Biloxi’s. Miller said, it was a terrible tragedy and there will be a lot of families to undergo an impact with this accident.
The reports were conflicting on the numbers killed. Initially officials said four and revised to three. However, a Biloxi city spokesman, Vincent Creel said that it was four people and a fire chief says 35 were taken to hospitals. The names of the dead people have not been released.
Witnesses informed the Sun Herald of Biloxi that the bus got stuck on the tracks for nearly five minutes even before the train hit it. In fact, some people got off the bus as the driver was trying to move it.
A car was used after the crash as a stepladder to get people off the bus, and emergency workers pulled passengers through windows. Medical worker set up a triage at the scene and some were carried by helicopters to hospitals.
The Spokesman of Federal Railroad Administration, Marc Willis, said the agency was sending three inspectors to investigate, while the National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.