Bus from Austin hit by train in Mississippi

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*Update* The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what lead up to the crash and the crash itself. Bastrop Police have released the names and identities of the deceased:

  • Clinton Havran from Sealy, Texas, 72-years-old
  • Deborah Orr from Bastrop, Texas, 62-years-old
  • Kenneth Hoffman from Lockhart, Texas, 82-years-old
  • Peggy Hoffman from Lockhart, Texas, 73-years-old. 

A charter bus originating in Austin, Texas was hit by a freight train in Biloxi, Mississippi on Tuesday. At least four people are dead.

The bus was carrying around 50 seniors, many from the Bastrop Senior Center. It was on its way to a casino on the Gulf Coast. Somehow, the bus got stuck on the tracks and was hit by a train. Police don’t know why the bus was stopped.

The Harrison County Coroner's office confirmed that out of the four deceased, there were two men and two women.

The trip was supposed to be a seven day road trip exploring Biloxi and New Orleans, but on day three things took a turn for the worst.

"I understand that the bus got caught on the railroad tracks. I'm not sure exactly if it stalled, if there was mechanical problems, if there was traffic issues," said Barbara Adkins, president of the Bastrop Senior Center.

The charter bus was struck around 2:15 on Tuesday afternoon. Biloxi police say the bus was pushed nearly 300 feet down the tracks, leaving four dead and more than 30 others in the hospital. Some members have been in contact with Adkins.

"I had a report back from someone who said, I've seen things that I just don't think I'll ever forget...so that is hard."

Adkins says the bus driver tried to get people to exit the vehicle, some from the front and others from the back. Not everyone made it out in time. Melissa Flores says her mom was fortunate.

"She said people started pushing from the back and she said her friend Rachel literally jumped off the bus and so she said upon impact she was standing and it knocked her to the floor and so she's in the hospital and she said she's got a couple of fractured bones in her back and her rib."

The bus left Austin on Sunday and Biloxi was the first stop. We're told 51 people were on board Tuesday, 27 of those were from Bastrop County, many of them members of the senior center. Others on board were from Austin and surrounding areas. Bastrop Police are eagerly awaiting more information.

"Well kind of like somebody kicked me in the gut. And we're on pins and needles," Bastrop Police Chief Steve Adcock said. "Biloxi is very busy working this scene yet we're here trying to field phone calls from citizens, and from you know family members who are wondering what's going on and if their family member is one of the deceased. And we don't have any information right now. So it's very difficult."

The names of the deceased and injured are being withheld at this time. Authorities want to contact families first and be accurate before giving out that information.