Kansas City, Missouri 2021-09-26 01:47:39 –
Joplin, Mon. (AP) — At least three people were killed Saturday afternoon when an Amtrak train between Seattle and Chicago derailed in north-central Montana and several cars fell sideways, officials said.
To the west Empire Builder Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in a statement that the train derailed near about 200 towns, Joplin, around 4 pm. The accident site is about 150 miles (241 kilometers) northeast of Helena and about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the Canadian border.
Sheriff Star Tyler of Liberty County told The Associated Press that three people had died from the derailment. She didn’t have any further details. Amtrak said in a statement that there were multiple injuries.
According to Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams, the train had about 141 passengers and 16 crew members. He said the train had two locomotives and ten cars, eight of which were derailed.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that the local government has confirmed that three people have died as a result of the accident,” Abrams said.
Passenger Megan Vanderbest, who was about to visit a friend in Seattle, told the New York Times that he was awakened by a derailment.
“To be honest, I was worried and heard that the train was derailing, so I first thought it was derailing,” said Vandervest from Minneapolis. “My second idea was that it was crazy. We never derail. It’s just like it doesn’t happen.”
She told the Times that the car behind her was tilted, the car behind her had fallen, and the three cars behind her had “completely fallen off the railroad tracks and separated from the train.”
Speaking from the Liberty County Senior Center, where some passengers were taken, Vandervest said it felt like “extreme turbulence in an airplane.”
Residents of the community near the crash site were immediately mobilized to help passengers.
Chester Councilor Rachel Gequier said she and others helped about 50 to 60 passengers brought to a local school.
“I went to school and helped wipe off water, food and dirt on my face,” she said. “They looked tired and upset, but they were happy to be where they were. Some people seemed more disturbed than others, depending on where they were on the train. I was there. “
She said a grocery store in Chester, about five miles (8 km) from the derailment, and a nearby religious group provided food.
Passengers were taken by bus to a nearby Shelby hotel, said Gequier, whose husband was on a local paramedic and was warned of a crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board will send a team of 14 members, including investigators and experts in railroad signals and other areas, to investigate the conflict, spokesman Eric Weiss said.
According to Weiss, the derailment occurred around 3:55 pm and no other trains or equipment were involved. At that time, he said the train was running on the main line of BNSF Railway.
Photos posted on social media showed that there was a railroad car next to it, passengers were standing next to the railroad tracks, and some were carrying luggage. The image shows a clear sky, and the accident appeared to have occurred along the straight section of the railroad track.
Amtrak said Sunday’s westbound Empire Builder trains would end in Minneapolis and Sunday’s eastbound Empire Builder trains would depart in Minneapolis due to the derailment.
Other recent Amtrak derailments include:
— April 3, 2016: Two maintenance workers were attacked and killed on an Amtrak train over 100 mph in Chester, Pennsylvania. The leading engine of the train derailed.
— March 14, 2016: An Amtrak train from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed in southwestern Kansas, leaving five cars off the railroad tracks and injuring at least 32 people. Investigators concluded that a cattle feed truck collided with the truck and moved it at least one foot before the derailment.
— October 5, 2015: A passenger train from Vermont to Washington, DC derailed when it hit a rock that fell from a shelf onto a railroad track. Locomotives and passenger cars spilled from the embankment, three other cars derailed, and seven were injured.
— May 12, 2015: Amtrak Train 188 entered a sharp curve in Philadelphia and derailed, driving at twice the speed limit of 50 mph. Eight people were killed and more than 200 were injured when four of the seven locomotive and train passenger cars jumped over the railroad tracks. Several cars have fallen and fall apart.
Hamada reported from Phoenix. Detroit’s Associated Press Tom Krisher contributed to this report.
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