Earlier today, a train traveling east through Mississippi struck a charter bus in downtown Biloxi. The bus was stuck on the tracks around 2:15 pm when the collision occurred, pushing it the length of a football field down the tracks. More than hour after the accident occurred, first responders were still removing victims from the crashed bus, which contained 4 dozen senior citizens.
One witness noted that the bus had been stuck on the tracks for around 5 minutes before the train arrived. The crossing, which is on an embankment, is noted by witnesses to be unusually steep. In January, a delivery truck was allegedly stuck at the same crossing and was also struck by a train. The crossing has a sign that warns vehicles with low ground clearance.
City spokesman Vincent Creel has said that there have been injuries and fatalities. One report has confirmed that 4 passengers were killed from the crash. Creel also said that a triage unite was being set up on-site by a local hospital.
Reporters noted that dozens of people were sitting on the grass around the triage unit, some of them in neck braces. At least one victim was transported by helicopter to the hospital.
The bus had 48 passengers when it was struck, though the travel log had 50 passengers scheduled. Charter buses often take patrons and tourists to casinos in Biloxi, which is what occurred today. This particular bus was from a senior center in Austin, Texas. The bus was traveling from one local casino to another when it got stuck on the tracks.
Federal Railroad Administration records show that this crossing has seen 16 collisions since 1976, with fatalities in 1983 and in 2003.
Post updated on March 8th to include new fatality count and additional details about the crossing.