At approximately 2:00 PM this afternoon, a CSX train collided with a charter bus that was stalled on railroad tracks in downtown Biloxi, Mississippi. After striking the stationary bus, the train reportedly pushed the bus about 300 feet down the tracks. The bus was traveling from Austin, Texas and carrying 50 passengers. NBC News is reporting that at least three of those passengers are dead and dozens more injured as a result of the crash.
Officials are investigating the crash, but little is known at this time, including why and how long the bus was stopped on the tracks before the collision. The National Transportation Safety Board acknowledged the crash via Twitter, stating that it is “gathering information about today’s accident involving a freight train and a bus in Biloxi, MS.”
CSX spokesman Gary Sease said the mixed freight train was traveling from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama. Twenty-seven of the train’s 52 cars were occupied, but fortunately, no one on the train was injured in the crash.
Local hospitals have established triage units near the site of the crash to treat injured passengers. Other passengers have been airlifted to nearby hospitals.
According to Sunherald.com, this is the second train collision to plague Biloxi in two months. Recently, another CSX freight train struck a delivery truck when the truck became stuck on a steep grade. The driver of the truck was unharmed.
Thousands of train accidents occur each year in the United States, which often result in serious injury and death. Train passengers are not the only people injured in train accidents, however. Railroad workers often sustain serious injuries or even die while on the job. Railroad employees who are injured at work but not covered by state workers’ compensation laws are protected by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). Under FELA, railroad workers have the right to file a claim against their employers for injuries sustained at work. Much like the Jones Act, FELA requires that an injured railway employee demonstrate that some act, or failure to act, by the railroad contributed to his/her injury. If the railroad employee can show that he/she was injured by the fault or negligence of the railroad, including the failure of the railroad to provide a reasonable safe place to work, he/she can recover various types of damages, including past and future lost wages, lost benefits, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
If you or a loved one was involved in a railroad accident or injury, you should immediately report the injury and contact a FELA attorney. The FELA attorneys at Lambert Zainey have more than 40 years of experience handling FELA cases and investigating railway accidents. Contact Lambert Zainey today to learn more about your legal rights as a railroad worker.