Multiple injuries after Amtrak train derailment in Montana
Updated September 25, 2021, 10:34 PM ET
JOPLIN, Mont. – Several people are injured after an Amtrak train that runs from Seattle to Chicago derailed Saturday afternoon in north-central Montana, the train agency said.
The Empire Builder train derailed at 4 p.m. near Joplin, a town of about 200 residents, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in a statement. The crash site is approximately 150 miles north of Helena and approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Canada.
The train had around 147 passengers and 13 crew on board, Abrams said.
Megan Vandervest, a train passenger who was going to visit a friend in Seattle, told the New York Times that she was awakened by the derailment.
“My first thought was that we were derailing because, to be honest, I have anxiety and I had heard stories of trains going off the rails,” said Vandervest, from Minneapolis. “My second thought was, it’s crazy. We wouldn’t be derailing. Like, that doesn’t happen.”
She told The Times that the car behind hers was overturned, the one behind that was fully overturned, and the three cars behind that “had completely fallen off the rails and pulled away from the train.”
Speaking from the Liberty County Senior Center, where the passengers were taken, Vandervest said it sounded like “extreme turbulence on a plane.”
Amtrak was working with local authorities to transport injured passengers and safely evacuate all other passengers, Abrams added.
Photos posted on social media showed several cars on the side. Passengers stood along the tracks, some carrying luggage.
The footage showed sunny skies and it appeared that the accident had occurred along a straight section of track.
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