Three people are dead and ‘well over’ 50 are injured after Amtrak train from Chicago bound for Seattle derailed in Montana on Saturday
Amtrak’s Empire Builder 7/27 derailed near Joplin, Montana around 4pm MST
Three passengers have died and ‘well over’ 50 people have been injured
Passengers have been sent to Liberty Community And Senior Center, among other places, with five area hospitals on standby
Amtrak confirmed that eight jars derailed with passengers citing two have completely detached
The 10 car train had 141 passengers and 13 crew members on board
Amtrak has deployed ground teams and are helping NTSB, the owners the tracks, to investigate the cause of the derailment
Three people are dead and more than 50 are injured after a Seattle bound Amtrak train from Chicago, carrying 141 passengers and 16 crew derailed in Montana on Saturday afternoon.
Eight cars out of the 10 cars on Amtrak’s Empire Builder 7/27 train derailed as it carried passengers from Chicago to Seattle, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. Two train cars reportedly separated and slid down a 30 foot embankment.
Police confirmed that three passenger onboard died as a result of their injuries.
‘We are deeply saddened to learn local authorities are now confirming that three people have lost their lives as a result of this accident,’ Amtrak released in a statement.
Amanda Frickel, the disaster and emergency services coordinator for Hill County, Montana stated that ‘well over’ 50 people are injured.
She added that six counties sent rescuers and five hospitals are on standby to accept patients. Several helicopters are on standby, as well.
Amtrak also reported they are working with local authorities to help those who are injured.
‘Amtrak is working with the local authorities to transport those who were injured to medical care, and to safely evacuate everyone else at the scene,’ Jason Abrams. Amtrak’s Public Relations Manager said in a statement.
Survivors said that the derailed cars on the track near Joplin, Montana, have left some passengers trapped inside. One passenger said she heard a boom and felt the carriage ‘pitching violently side-to-side,’ according to CBS. Another passenger Megan Vandervest was asleep when the train derailed.
‘My first thought was that we were derailing because, to be honest, I have anxiety and I had heard stories about trains derailing,’ she told The New York Times.
‘My second thought was that’s crazy. We wouldn’t be derailing. Like, that doesn’t happen.’
She described the feeling as ‘extreme turbulence on a plane,’ but was among the lucky ones whose train car stayed on the tracks.
However, the cars behinds hers weren’t. Three cars back, was completely off the track, the one in front of that was toppled over, while the one behind her was tilted, she told the Times.
There were approximately 147 passengers and 13 crew members onboard.
Some passengers are being transported to Liberty Community And Senior Center.
‘We’re going our best,’ the spokesperson from the senior center said.
The state’s medical supplies are low and beds are limited in hospitals due to COVID-19, but nursing homes have limited capacity.
The train’s derailment is suspected to have happened between the Havre and Shelby stops in Montana, according to KXLY.
It is suspected that the train derailed near the switch at East Buelow.
The cause of the derailment is not clear.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is launching a “go team” to investigate the derailment.
Amtrak and NTSB, who owns the tracks, are looking into the derailment as well.
At least three cars are derailed and two have separated from the train. The last train car was completely on its side from the derailment
One car flipped over. Some of the cars slid down a 30 foot embankment Crews set up ladders on the side of the cars in what appears to be a rescue effort to safely remove passengers.
One Twitter user Emily Rose reported her boyfriend’s grandfather was on the train that flipped. She cited that he has ‘cuts and bruises’ but ‘is okay.’
Empire Builder trains 7/27 and 8/28 are cancelled for services today between Minot, North Dakota, and Shelby, Montana. Train will be limited for the next few days.
The Empire Builder travels between Chicago-St. Paul/Minneapolis-Spokane-Portland/Seattle, according to Amtrak’s website.