At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be traveling on the westbound Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle and Portland when eight cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter
  • The National Transportation Safety Board said it’s sending a team to investigate the derailment. Amtrak said it has a team on the ground “to fully support the NTSB.”

Zoom in: Amanda Frickel, disaster and emergency services coordinator for Hill County, Mont., told the New York Times that “well over” 50 people were wounded in the derailment.

  • Frickel told the NYT that everybody “who is alive has been extricated from the wreck.”
  • Amtrak said it’s “working with the local authorities to transport those who were injured to medical care, and to safely evacuate everyone else at the scene.”
  • “Our Incident Response Team has been initiated, and we are sending emergency personnel and Amtrak leadership to the scene to help support our passengers, our employees and their families with their needs,” the company added.
  • The train comprised two locomotives and 10 cars, according to Amtrak.

What they’re saying: Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) both tweeted that they’re “closely monitoring” the situation. Tester added that he’s been in touch with Amtrak.

Of note: Amtrak said in a statement that it had canceled some Saturday Empire Builder trains between Minot, North Dakota and and Shelby, Mont., and made scheduling changes for Sunday due to the derailment.

Editor’s note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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