Three killed as Amtrak Train Derails in Montana; Over 50 Injured

At least three people were killed after a train derailed Saturday afternoon in north-central Montana in the United States.

The derailment occurred in Havre as an Amtrak train went off the tracks. "We are deeply saddened to learn local authorities are now confirming that three people have lost their lives as a result of this accident," rail operator Amtrak said. Reports claimed at least 50 passengers were injured.

Emergency units arrived in the area to evacuate passengers.

Amtrak train derailment
People working at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in north-central Montana. Twitter/ The Associated Press

In an updated statement, Amtrak late Sunday revised the number of people aboard the Empire Builder, which crashed just outside Joplin, Montana, on Saturday afternoon, to 146 passengers and 16 crew members, KTMF reported. According to the new statement, the passenger train consisted of two locomotives and 10 cars, seven of which derailed from the tracks, the TV station reported.

According to media reports, the train was headed for the city of Seattle from Chicago.

People trapped aboard soon after the derailment have all been taken off the train, reported Reuters.

Footage posted on social media showed people waiting by the tracks, luggage strewn next to them, and several train carriages can be seen listing off the rails with at least one toppled onto its side, according to AFP.

Several passengers on the train shared images of the front cars off the track, with some tipped on their sides, reported ABC News.

Megan Vandervest, a passenger on the train 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 about trains derailing," said Vandervest, who is from Minneapolis.

Amtrak train derailment
At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in rural Montana Twitter

"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".

The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear, KHQ-TV reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it will send a 14-member team, including investigators and specialists in railroad signals and other disciplines, to investigate the derailment.