At least 3 killed in Amtrak Empire Builder train derailment in Montana

2021-09-25 23:20:00 –

Joplin, Mon. — At least three people were killed when an Amtrak train between Seattle and Chicago derailed in north-central Montana on Saturday afternoon, an official at the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office said.

Dispatcher starter Tyler 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.

Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in a statement that the Empire Builder train had derailed near about 200 towns, Joplin, around 4 pm. The accident site is about 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of Helena and about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the Canadian border.

According to Abrams, the train had about 146 passengers and 16 crew members.

He said the train consisted of two locomotives and ten cars, seven of which were derailed.

A train passenger, Megan Vandervest, 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 wouldn’t derail. For example, it wouldn’t happen.”

She told the Times that the car behind was tilted, the car behind was completely overturned, and the three cars behind were “completely dropped off the railroad tracks and separated from the train.”

Speaking from the Liberty County Senior Center where the passengers were taken, Vandervest said it felt like “extreme turbulence in an airplane.”

Amtrak was working with local governments to transport injured passengers and safely evacuate all other passengers, Abrams added.

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.

Five Amtrak cars derailed at around 3:55 pm during mountain summer time, with no other trains or equipment involved, Weiss said. At that time, he said the train was running on the main line of BNSF Railway.

Photos posted on social media showed some cars on their side. Passengers were standing beside the railroad tracks, and some carried 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.


The Associated Press Tom Krisher contributed to this report.

At least 3 killed in Amtrak Empire Builder train derailment in Montana Source link At least 3 killed in Amtrak Empire Builder train derailment in Montana

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