At least three dead, multiple people injured in Montana Amtrak derailment
JOPLIN, Montana — Three people lost their lives when an Amtrak train derailed in Montana on Saturday afternoon, according to the Liberty County Sheriff's office.
CNN reports that a statement from the railway said five cars from Amtrak's Empire Builder train 7/27 derailed near Joplin, Montana, injuring an undisclosed number of passengers.
The fatal wreck occurred around 4 p.m. local time, according to Amtrak.
At the time, there were about 147 passengers and 13 crew members on board.
The Associated Press cited an eyewitness account of the incident, quoting passenger, Megan Vandervest, who was headed to Seattle.
Vandervest told reporters she was awakened by the derailment, saying, “My first thought was that we were derailing because, to be honest, I have anxiety and I had heard stories about trains derailing. My second thought was that’s crazy. We wouldn’t be derailing. Like, that doesn’t happen.”
She told the Times that the car behind hers was tilted over, the one behind that was entirely tipped over, and the three cars behind that “had completely fallen off the tracks and were detached from the train.”
Vandervest said it felt like “extreme turbulence on a plane.”
Amtrak and local authorities worked together to see that injured passengers were brought to medical facilities and other passengers were evacuated to the Liberty County Senior Center.
This is a developing situation, and additional updates are likely to follow throughout the evening.
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