JOPLIN, MT – Three people died and more than 50 were injured when an Amtrak train ran off the rails near a farming community in northern Montana on Saturday afternoon, the New York Times reports.
About 141 passengers and 16 crew members were traveling from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest when the Empire Builder train derailed near the town of Joplin, a town of about 200 located 150 miles northeast of Helena. All but two of the train’s ten passenger cars left the tracks, many careening onto their sides.
Three people were killed as a result of the incident, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. Hill County’s disaster and emergency services coordinator said that “well over” 50 were injured.
Emergency responders from six counties transported victims to as many as five area hospitals via both ambulance and air transport.
After they treated those who had suffered serious injuries, officials took the remaining survivors to two sites for a headcount and minor medical treatment, then to area hotels for shelter.
The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a “go team” to the area to begin an initial investigation. However, the cause of the derailment remains uncertain as of late this morning.
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