One woman died and 10 people were hurt Friday when a freight train collided with a rural transit bus in Evans City, Pa., about 25 miles north of Pittsburgh.
The force of the impact threw the bus into a nearby ravine; passengers on the bus ranged in age from 26 to 92. A 91-year-old woman died of her injuries and another passenger is in critical condition, Evans City Police Chief Joseph McCombs told the Los Angeles Times.
The bus entered the railroad crossing and then stopped; the reason has yet to be determined. Those injured in the Friday morning collision were taken to several area hospitals, and as of late afternoon, investigators had not been able to interview the bus driver.
“We’re trying to determine whether the bus was moving, stationary, or parked,” the chief said.
The Allegheny Valley Railroad train’s engineer saw the bus on the tracks, McCombs said. He sounded the horn several times and tried to stop the train, but it struck the bus.
The speed limit for trains in that area is 25 mph. “We have no reason to believe it was going faster than that,” McCombs said.
The train pulled 28 cars. “It was massive tonnage,” McCombs said.
Investigators and railroad employees have retrieved for examination computer data from the train engine, which has a feature similar to the flight data recorders used on commercial airlines.
Police are also looking at whether heavy fog was a factor in the crash.
The Butler Area Rural Transit bus, at the time of the 8:10 a.m. collision, was carrying 10 passengers on their way to several destinations, including some senior citizen and special needs programs.
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