News and Notes about the Train-Bus Collision

 

From:  City of Biloxi   3/10/17   GCN

 

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Biloxi today and conducted a briefing at the Main Street site of the fatal collision of the CSX freight train and charter bus. Anyone with information regarding the collision should contact the NTSB by email at witness@ntsb.gov. The NTSB website is at www.ntsb.gov.

 
Learn more about the NTSB Investigative Process
See previous NTSB accident reports

 

Slow-moving trains in downtown Biloxi

Downtown traffic advisory: All trains traveling through Biloxi are stopping at the Main Street crossing before proceeding because of damage to the northbound crossing bar and safety lights. Expect slow-moving trains until repairs are made. At damaged crossings, the train stops, an engineer displays a flare on the roadway to stop traffic and a flag man is positioned at the crossing to stop traffic while the train passes. CSX said the warning devices cannot be replaced until given the OK by NTSB investigators.


See video of a train passing the site this morning

 

Getting the point across
 

"The attention has been extraordinary," Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich said of the dozens of media outlets that have visited the site or contacted the city for information about the incident Tuesday afternoon. "My goal was to get our point across: To express our sincere condolences, and make sure those involved who were impacted by this know that they are in the thoughts and prayers of this city."

 

Serena Gilich, Biloxi's first lady, along with friend Laurie Kuluz placed flowers and four crosses, two adorned with blue ribbons and two adorned with white ribbons, near the Main Street railroad crossing this morning in memory of the four individuals who lost their lives Tuesday as a result of the train-bus collision.

 

Said Gilich: "We wanted to let people know that we care about those visitors and their families."
See Sun Herald video

 

Where do we go from here?

"The thing that we're doing right now is take immediate steps to make this damaged intersection safer," Mayor Gilich said. "Our Public Works crews have been ordered to sweep the street of glass and debris. Our Police Department is working to determine a timeline on when the crossing bar and other safety equipment can be repaired. As far as long-term improvements to this crossing and others in the city, I will continue to press for us to close crossings so that we can work with CSX to improve the safety of other crossings. Additionally, and just as importantly, we are going to use the recommendations that the NTSB and CSX bring forward to ensure that the chance of something like this occurring again is minimized. We're going to use empirical data to direct our measures."

 

Briefly

Crossing talk: The city had originally scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, the day of the accident, to discuss closing six of the 29 rail crossings in Biloxi. However, the hearing had been postponed until March 21, immediately after the 1:30 p.m. City Council meeting. Incidentally, of the 29 rail crossings in Biloxi, 21 are bunched in east Biloxi, in a 2.6-mile strip of rail between White Avenue and Oak Street. To see a report on the proposed closures and the justifications, click here.

 

Hospital visit: Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich this afternoon visited a number of the bus passengers admitted to Merit Health in Biloxi.

 

Lodging: Margaritaville Resort and the White House Hotel have offered lodging to families of those injured who are hospitalized in Biloxi.

 

Lighthouse: In the wake of the tragedy Tuesday, several of the city's Facebook platforms now have a cover photo of the Biloxi Lighthouse shrouded in darkness with the words: "Saddened. Not Broken." See an example by clicking here. Mayor Gilich has also ordered flags at city facilities to fly at half staff.