Four Dead After Train, Charter Bus Collide in Biloxi

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UPDATE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8TH, 2017 10:38 AM

A press conference on the investigation into the bus crash is scheduled for noon central time. You can watch it LIVE on WKRG News 5 at Noon, at WKRG.com and on the WKRG Facebook page

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8TH, 2017 7:35AM

CBS reporting there have been at least 16 accidents at that same Biloxi RR Crossing since the 1970’s.  The latest of those happened just last month.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8TH, 2017 6:55AM

Two of the people killed in the crash have been identified as Ken and Peggy Hoffman from Lockhart, Texas.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8TH, 2017 5:45AM

NTSB officials held a news conference in Washington DC at about 5:20 CST.  The NTSB go team should arrive around 8:30 this morning in Biloxi.  First, they will meet with local officials and then map the scene.  After that, they will set up different teams as to how to investigate this.  They’re bringing in experts on rail, highway and bus travel.  They’ll also look at camera footage they have.  They know there are likely cameras on the bus and a camera on the front of the bus.  They’ll likely try to collect video from surrounding businesses and bystanders.  The train’s black box data will also be analyzed.  The NTSB may hold another news conference to update us on the investigations.  

TUESDAY’S UPDATES

UPDATE AT 4:43 P.M. – Witnesses on the scene tell WKRG that the bus appeared to be stuck on the tracks.  Austin Dominey told Alison Spann, “The bus in front of us was stopped and I was wondering why is it stopped? There’s a train coming. It looked like he had bottomed out at the top of that hill. When he was starting to back up that’s when the train collided into him and he went almost two blocks down the road with  the train.”

Dominey says he was shocked to witness the chaos, ““I don’t have words to describe it. When you see something like that…you just don’t expect to see anything like that except in movies.”

UPDATE AT 4:10 P.M. – Officials in Biloxi tell News 5 in a press conference that four people died in the train and bus collision this afternoon. We have also learned from television station KXAN in Texas that the charter bus originated from the Austin area according to law enforcement officials.UPDATE at 4:00 P.M. – CSX says three people died when a train and charter bus collided. Below is the statement from CSX:

“CSX personnel are working with first responders at a collision of a freight train and passenger bus in Biloxi, Miss. The collision this afternoon occurred at the Main Street crossing. The eastbound mixed freight train, traveling from New Orleans to Mobile, Ala., had three locomotives and 52 cars – 27 loaded cars and 25 empty cars. The crossing has flashing lights and crossing gates. Authorities in Biloxi report three fatalities and many injuries, and our thoughts are with all involved. The train crew was not injured.”

UPDATE at 3:15 P.M. – New information from the Associated Press: A train has collided with a charter bus in Biloxi, Mississippi, causing an unknown number of deaths and injuries. Biloxi city spokesman Vincent Creel says emergency responders were still removing injured people from the bus more than 30 minutes after the crash Tuesday. Creel says a CSX train headed eastbound hit the bus at a crossing in downtown Biloxi just before 2:15 p.m., pushing the bus about 300 feet down the tracks. He says a nearby hospital is setting up a triage unit at the site to treat the injured. Creel says as many as 50 people were on the bus. He said there are deaths and injuries, but he could not immediately quantify them. Charter buses often carry patrons to casinos in Biloxi, but Creel says he doesn’t know where this bus was headed.BREAKING NEWS:Fire and rescue crews are working quickly to help passengers on a charter bus after it was hit by a train along Main Street in Biloxi. The Biloxi Police Department wants people to avoid Main Street and the area south of the railroad tracks. As you can see in the pictures taken by the Sun Herald newspaper, firefighters pulled passengers off the bus through its broken windows. Passengers are sitting in a grassy area and receiving medical treatment.  News 5 has a crew on the way and we will have more updates right here on wkrg.com.  First responders have set up a triage area to help the injured.

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