JOPLIN, Mont. (KPTV) – Three people were killed and others were injured on an Amtrak train that derailed Saturday afternoon in Montana that was bound for Portland and Seattle.

The Empire Builder train traveling from Chicago to Portland/Seattle derailed about 4 p.m. near Joplin, Mont., a town around 30 miles south of the Canadian border with a population of about 150 people, Amtrak said.

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office said three people died. It is still assessing the number of people who are injured.

Amtrak train derails in remote part of Montana, killing at least 3 people

In this photo provided by Kimberly Fossen, people work at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment on September 25 in Montana.

The Empire Builder train splits in Spokane, with some cars traveling to Portland and the rest to Seattle. The train was due to arrive in Portland at 10:10 a.m. on Sunday.

The train consisted of two locomotives and 10 cars and there were about 141 passengers and 16 crew members on board, Amtrak said in an additional statement Sunday, clarifying previous figures provided.

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office said four cars had completely derailed and there were “a couple” that were partially derailed.

Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn released a statement on Sunday reading in part:

We are in mourning today for the people who lost their lives due to the derailment of the Empire Builder train Saturday, near Joplin, Montana, on the BNSF Railway, as well as the many others who were injured. We have no words that can adequately express our sorrow for those who lost a loved one or who were hurt in this horrible event. They are in our thoughts and prayers.

We are fully cooperating with the investigation, working closely with National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Railroad Administration, local law enforcement and response agencies. We share the sense of urgency to understand why the accident happened; however, until the investigation is complete, we will not comment further on the accident itself. The NTSB will identify the cause or causes of this accident, and Amtrak commits to taking appropriate actions to prevent a similar accident in the future.

Amtrak also issued a statement saying it has activated an Incident Response Team and are sending emergency personnel and Amtrak leadership to the scene to help support our passengers, our employees and their families with their needs. Individuals with questions about their friends and family aboard the train should call 800-523-9101, the railway said.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 


Recommended for you