A passenger on a bus carrying Texas tourists says he and his wife tried to get out as the train bore down on the bus stopped on tracks in Biloxi, Mississippi. I saw some limbs broke in places they probably shouldn't have been.
Emergency workers had to cut through the bus wreckage to remove some of the survivors, according to Fire Chief Joe Boney.
According to WLOX, the charter bus originated in Austin and was nearing its final destination at Biloxi. Numerous passengers were apparently senior citizens.
CSX Transportation, which was operating the freight train, said it was travelling from New Orleans to Alabama at the time of the crash - and its train crew was not injured.
Sumwalt said they will have experts on hand to look at rail factors, highway factors, motor coach operations, survival factors and recorders.
Responders works the scene where a train hit a bus in Biloxi, Miss., Tuesday, March 7, 2017.
The train company says their crew was not injured in the crash.
A spokesman said the train had three locomotives, and 27 of the 52 cars were loaded.
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Why the bus was on the tracks, and whether it had an engine problem, was unclear, Miller said. "When you drive through east Biloxi you can see crossings pretty much at every street corner so what we want to do is reduce the number of crossings to minimize the chances of this happening", said Creel.
"Officials said it's not clear yet if the bus had some kind of mechanical trouble, but this intersection has a steep grade that has led to issues in the past".
There were reportedly as many as 50 passengers onboard the charter bus.
Charter buses often carry patrons to casinos in Biloxi, but Creel says he doesn't know where this bus was headed. In addition to the four people who were killed, 40 were hurt, including seven critically. "We're trying to mobilize to assess the situation".
The bus belongs to Echo Transportation, a Grand Prairie, Texas-based company.
Each year in the USA, there are about 2,200 grade crossing accidents with a number of fatalities, according to Sumwalt.