At least three people have been confirmed dead in a train crash involving a charter bus at the Main Street railroad crossing in Biloxi.
Biloxi Police Chief John Miller confirmed the fatalities in a press conference shortly after the crash Tuesday afternoon.
Emergency personnel were scrambling to remove some 50 people from the bus, which is from Austin, Texas, Miller said.
It’s unclear how many people were injured in the 2:12 p.m. crash.
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The train was eastbound shortly when it collided with a northbound charter bus, Biloxi spokesman Vincent Creel.
Craig Robinson, who said he witnessed the crash, told the Sun Herald the bus was stuck on the tracks about five minutes before it was struck. Some people were getting off the bus as the driver tried to get the bus moving, and those people were hit by the bus, he said. A car also apparently was hit during the collision.
Dozens of people were sitting on grass, some in neck braces, in less than half an hour as Merit Health hospital set up a triage area nearby.
“It’s very chaotic up there,” Creel said.
A helicopter has made at least one medical transport. It appeared other flights were being lined up.
Emergency dispatchers were directing first responders to the easiest routes to the scene as more help arrived.
All Biloxi fire stations responded and the Gulfport Fire Department sent in reinforcements, Gulfport Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt said.
It’s the second time in two months that a train has collided with a vehicle in Biloxi. A CSX freight train struck a Pepsi-Cola delivery truck. The tractor-trailer became stuck on a steep grade. The driver of the vehicle, owned by Allen Beverage of Gulfport, got out and called for help but the train couldn’t stop in time.
SunHerald.com is working on details.
Sun Herald staff writers Mary Perez and Anita Lee contributed to this report.