September 26, 2021 – In Breaking News – NBC News
Federal officials sent a team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board to the site of an Amtrak derailment in north-central Montana that killed three people and left seven hospitalized Sunday, officials said.
The westbound Empire Builder was en route to Seattle from Chicago, with two locomotives and 10 cars, when it left the tracks about 4 p.m. Saturday near Joplin, a town of about 200.
The train was carrying about 141 passengers and 16 crew members and had two locomotives and 10 cars, eight of which derailed, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said.
(An Amtrak passenger train derailed near Joplin, Montana, on Sunday, killing three and injuring dozens more. Courtesy of CBS Evening News and YouTube. Posted on Sep 26, 2021.)
A 14-member team including investigators and specialists in railroad signals would look into the cause of the derailment on a BNSF Railway main track that involved no other trains or equipment, said NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.
The accident scene is about 150 miles northeast of Helena and about 30 miles from the Canadian border.
Most of those on the train were treated and released for their injuries, but five who were more seriously hurt remained at the Benefis Health System hospital in Great Falls, Montana, said Sarah Robbin, Liberty County emergency services coordinator.
Two were in the ICU, another spokeswoman said.
Another two people were at Logan Health, a hospital in Kalispell, Montana, spokeswoman Melody Sharpton said.
Liberty County Sheriff Nick Erickson said the names of the dead would not be released until relatives are notified.
Robbin said nearby residents rushed to offer help when the derailment occurred.
“We are so fortunate to live where we do, where neighbors help neighbors,” she said.
(The 10-car locomotive was on its way to Seattle from Chicago. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Sep 26, 2021.)
Amtrak said it sent emergency personnel and other officials to the site to help passengers, employees and local officials.
CEO Bill Flynn said in a statement that the quasi-public company is cooperating with federal and local investigators and declined to comment on the incident, saying only that “Amtrak commits to taking appropriate actions to prevent a similar accident in the future.”
Because of the derailment, Sunday’s westbound Empire Builder from Chicago will terminate in Minneapolis, and the eastbound train will originate in Minneapolis.
Passenger Megan Vandervest told The New York Times 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, of Minneapolis.
“My second thought was that’s crazy. We wouldn’t be derailing. Like, that doesn’t happen.”
Federal investigators begin probe into Amtrak train derailment that killed 3 in rural Montana https://t.co/YuBiDfKreN
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 26, 2021
She told the Times that the car behind hers was tilted, the one behind that was tipped over, and the three cars behind that “had completely fallen off the tracks and were detached from the train.”
Continue reading… Investigators probe deadly Amtrak derailment in Montana
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