According to ABC News, a charter bus full of passengers was on its way from Austin, TX to a casino in Biloxi when it became stuck on railroad tracks and was struck by a freight train. The train pushed the bus 300 feet down the tracks, killing at least four people and injuring dozens. The victims were all affiliated with a senior citizens’ group in Bastrop, TX.
Rescue crews spent over an hour pulling victims from the bus and had to cut through the vehicle’s frame to free the last two.
According to Biloxi Police Chief John Miller, the bus was stopped on the train tracks when the CSX Transportation train of 52 cars pulled by three locomotives slammed into its left side.
At the time the incident was reported, officials were not sure why the incident occurred—the police chief told ABC, “We don’t know if there were mechanical issues or what was taking place.”
One passenger explained what happened inside the bus before the crash occurred. When the bus driver realized the bus wouldn’t be able to leave the tracks in time to avoid the oncoming train, he opened the door to let the passengers out. Some escaped through the back door while others, who were seated in the middle of the bus, did not escape in time.
Records show that there have been 16 accidents at this crossing since 1976; on a typical day, 10 trains pass through the crossing, and they move at a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour.
ABC noted that the intersection between the train and the road contains the usual safety features, such as warning lights and other signals however the train track, which is on an embankment, may pose safety risks. Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
This was a tragic accident that affected many people. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident that was the result of another person’s negligence, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC for your free case evaluation. We will listen to you, review your case, and fight for the compensation you deserve.