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Biloxi Train & Bus Crash – ‘Jaws of Life’ used to retrieve passengers from wreckage

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Biloxi: The Biloxi, Mississippi, train & bus crash has shocked people. Four people have already been confirmed dead by coroner’s office till now and 35 injured people have been admitted to different hospitals in the city. The way the incident happened and the bus carrying mostly senior people was dragged for quarter of a mile has stunned the people.

There was some initial confusion about the number of dead travelling on the ill-fated bus. Initially, local officials said four people were dead in the train and bus crash. Later it was cut to three, but finally it was confirmed through coroner’s office that four people had lost their lives.

Image Courtesy: Fox news
Image Courtesy: Fox news

It was difficult to retrieve victims of the wreckage following train-bus accident. Emergency personnel were seen pulling victims out of the windows of the severely-damaged bus and using the Jaws of Life to free two people who were trapped. Hydraulic rescue tools, also known as the Jaws of Life, are used by emergency rescue personnel to assist vehicle extrication of crash victims, as well as other rescues from small spaces. These tools include cutters, spreaders, and rams. Such devices were first used in 1963 as a tool to free race car drivers from their vehicles after crashes.

The emergency personnel used every method in the book to retrieve bodies of the dead and take out the injured people without further injuries or harm. The Sun Herald reported that a car next to the bus was “used as a stepladder after the crash” and was also involved in the crash.

The Associated Press reported that the freight train dragged the bus about 300 feet down the tracks before coming to a stop. The bus was on a trip from a Texas senior center.

While the Biloxi Police Chief John Miller announced the death of three people, Biloxi city spokesman Vincent Creel later informed the media that four people were dead. Instead of 46 passengers, there were 42 people on board the bus. Most of those travelling on the bus sustained injuries, many of them grievously. Officials have said that as many 35 passengers have been taken to have a nearby hospital.

In the meantime, WLOX-TV quoted CSX spokesman Gary Sease as saying, “CSX personnel are working with first responders at a collision of a freight train and passenger bus in Biloxi, Miss…The collision this afternoon occurred at the Main Street crossing. The eastbound mixed freight train, traveling from New Orleans to Mobile, Ala., had three locomotives and 52 cars – 27 loaded cars and 25 empty cars. The crossing has flashing lights and crossing gates. Authorities in Biloxi report three fatalities and many injuries, and our thoughts are with all involved. The train crew was not injured.”

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