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Three dead in Montana Amtrak derailment

NBC News logo NBC News 9/26/2021 Dennis Romero and Joe Studley and Juliette Arcodia and Jay Varela
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An Amtrak train carrying more than 100 people derailed in Montana on Saturday, killing three people and injuring others, officials said.

The number of injured was not immediately known, said the Liberty County Sheriff's Office in Chester, Montana, but Chester Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Dave Ghekiere said he believed at least 15 people were hospitalized.

The Empire Builder train derailed near Joplin, Montana, about 4 p.m., Amtrak said in a statement. About 147 passengers and 16 crew members were onboard, it said.

The train included two locomotives and 10 cars, seven of which derailed, the rail service said. The Empire Builder runs between Chicago and Seattle.

"Amtrak is working with the local authorities to transport injured passengers, and safely evacuate all other passengers," Amtrak said.

Images from the scene showed one or two double-decker cars on their sides. The cause was under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, tweeted, "My thoughts are with all the passengers, crew, and first responders on the scene."

Amtrak said the derailment impacted Empire Builder service Saturday night and Sunday, with the westbound train 7 terminating in Minneapolis and the eastbound train 8 originating in Minneapolis instead of in Chicago.

Saturday trains traveling in Montana, between Minot and Shelby, were canceled.


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