A freight train hit a charter bus in the US state of Mississippi after the coach apparently became stuck on a railway crossing. The passengers in the bus were traveling from Texas to visit a casino.
At least four people were killed and dozens more injured in the Tuesday crash, said officials in the Mississippi town of Biloxi.
Emergency workers had to cut through the bus wreckage to remove some of the survivors, according to Fire Chief Joe Boney. He added that 35 people were hospitalized. Estimates on the number of passengers varied between 43 and 50.
Several victims needed to be airlifted from the scene.
Sue Perkins, who was in a vehicle behind the bus, told the local WLOX TV station that the bus appeared to get stuck because the vehicle was too long to negotiate the steep angle of the hill. Soon after that, the red lights at the crossing switched on and the safety gates came down to signal the arrival of a train, she said. The train could not stop in time and avoid collision.
"There was a big waterfall of glass that just came out of the bus" in the crash, she told WLOX.
Other witnesses told the local "Sun Herald" newspaper that the bus stayed on the tracks for several minutes before the impact. Many of the passengers were apparently senior citizens.
According to officials, the charter bus was traveling from Austin, Texas to a Mississippi casino.
dj/bw (Reuters, AP)