A charter bus carrying 50 people smashed into a CSX freight train on March 7 at a railroad crossing in Biloxi, Mississippi. The train pushed the bus over 300 feet down the tracks, killing three people and injuring 30 others.
Among the dead were an elderly couple from Lockhart, Texas, and a another elderly man from Sealy, Texas. A fourth person was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery but passed away shortly after the procedure.
The bus was originally from Austin, Texas, and traveling to a casino in Biloxi, MS. It had just come from a casino in Bay St. Louis. The bus, which was marked that it belonged to Echo Transportation, had stopped on the tracks when the crash occurred. Authorities do not know why the bus was straddling the tracks at the railroad crossing when it was hit. The Jaws of Life hydraulic rescue tool was used to extract people from the damaged bus. A nearby triage tent was set up nearby and helicopters flew the injured to hospitals that could handle trauma injuries.
It still remains unclear whether the bus got stuck or broke down while it was over the tracks. One witness said the bus was on the track for about five minutes before the crash occurred.
CSX, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., reported that no crew members were injured in the incident. Its train had three locomotives and 52 cars, 27 of them were loaded cars and 25 empty cars.
Earlier this year on January 5, a CSX train crashed into to a delivery truck that had become stuck at the same railroad crossing in Biloxi. Fortunately, no one was injured. The truck driver worked for 10 minutes to get the truck off the tracks and then notified police. The police, however, were unable to stop the train in time.
The National Transportation Safety Board was at the scene the next day investigating.