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4 dead, dozens injured as train hits bus in Biloxi, Mississippi

4 dead, dozens injured as train hits bus in Biloxi, Mississippi
A charter bus with 43 passengers was struck by a freight train near Biloxi, Mississippi and at least 4 people have been confirmed dead and at least 35 others were hospitalized.

Witnesses said the bus appeared to be stuck on the railway tracks, and the train struck it broadside, WLOX-TV reported.

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller confirmed four deceased and 35 injured during a press conference Tuesday, the Sun Herald reported. Three passengers were dead at the scene, while a fourth died later.

A witness told WLOX that the bus was filled with senior citizens.

A bus chartered in Austin, Texas apparently stalled on the railroad crossing in downtown Biloxi around 2:15 pm local time. It was struck by an eastbound CSX train and pushed for about 300 feet down the tracks, city spokesman Vincent Creel was quoted by AP as saying.

First responders were removing the injured passengers through emergency window exits, local media reported. Medical personnel from the nearby Keesler Air Force Base were also assisting with the rescue.

The ambulance company Acadian tweeted that they had dispatched 10 ground units and two medical helicopters at the request of Biloxi Police Department, and counted at least 37 injuries.

About “six or seven” people rescued from the bus walked away from the scene, WLOX reported, noting that all 50 passengers are considered to be injured. The bus was reportedly bound for one of the local casinos.

The bus belongs to Echo Transportation of Austin, Texas. The company said it was “mobilizing” to investigate the crash, and would advise when it had more information.

No one on board the freight train was injured, according to a statement from CSX. The train had three engines, 27 loaded cars and 25 empty cars, the company said.

All train traffic in the area has been stopped in the wake of the crash, rail operator CSX told local media. 

Victims have been taken to Merit Health and Ocean Springs Hospital in Biloxi, and Singing River Hospital in nearby Pascagoula.

Biloxi is a city of 44,000 residents on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.