(Joplin) At least three people were killed Saturday afternoon when an Amtrak train between Seattle and Chicago in northern Montana derailed, an official from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office said.
Posted on Sep 25, 2021 at 10:28 pm
The accident happened about 50 kilometers from Canada.
Dispatcher Starr Tyler told The Associated Press that three people died in the derailment, without giving further details. Amtrak said in a statement that there had been several injuries.
Five cars on the Empire Builder train, which runs between Seattle and Chicago, derailed at 4 p.m. local time near Joplin, a city of around 200 people, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in a statement.
The train had around 147 passengers and 13 crew members on board, he said.
Megan Vandervest, a train passenger who wanted to visit a friend in Seattle, told the New York Times that she was awakened by the derailment.
“My first thought was that we derailed because I was honestly scared and heard stories of trains going off the rails,” said Minneapolis-based Megan Vandervest. “My second thought was that it was crazy. We don’t get off track because that never happens. ”
She told the New York Times that the car behind hers was partially overturned, the one behind completely overturned, along with three other cars that “fell completely off the tracks and drove off the train.”
Megan Vandervest said at a community center where passengers were being dropped off that the derailment looked like “extreme turbulence on an airplane”.
Amtrak is working with local authorities to transport injured passengers and safely evacuate all other passengers, Abrams added.
Rescuers are on site.