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Amtrak train derails along Montana's Hi-Line

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Posted at 6:47 PM, Sep 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-25 23:56:34-04

(UPDATE, 7:54 pm) CBS News reports that there are at least three confirmed fatalities, according to the Liberty County Sheriff.

(UPDATE: 7:20 pm) Amtrak has confirmed the derailment near Joplin. Public Relations Manager Jason Abrams released the following statement:

At approximately 4 pm MT, Empire Builder train 7/27 derailed five cars near Joplin, MT. There are approximately 147 passengers and 13 crew members onboard, with injuries reported. Amtrak is working with the local authorities to transport injured passengers, and safely evacuate all other passengers. Additional details will be provided as available.

We will update you as we get more information.

(FIRST REPORT) An Amtrak passenger train derailed in Liberty County on Saturday. The first reports of the derailment came in just after 4:00 p.m.

The train was reportedly just west of Joplin when it went off the tracks.

Pictures shared on social media showed at least one car completely on its side and several other cars upright or tipped but off the tracks.

A witness described helping passengers exit the derailed cars. Jeremiah Johnson told MTN that ladders were being used to free people and some had to be cut free.

"We had to lift a few people out with lots of volunteers and then cut some out...There was one lady in the back whose legs were trapped and was unable to be removed without using a saw (to cut away seats.)," Johnson said.

Johnson described seeing shoulder, head, and neck injuries.

Amtrak train derails along Montana's Hi-Line
Amtrak train derails along Montana's Hi-Line

There are reports that passengers are being bused to Chester High School or the Chester Senior Center for staging. Officials have not confirmed to MTN any fatalities as of 6:45 p.m. Saturday evening.

He added that his wife assisted with helping passengers as they got off the train.

"Right now, she's helping out on site and then was kind of checking people's vitals as they were coming. I brought her to the hospital. They had plenty of help up there so we went to the high school and she started helping get down people's injuries, names, and documenting any medication they may be taking."

Johnson estimated there were dozens of people at the high school.

MTN has a reporter at the scene and will update you when more details are available.

The Amtrak passenger line that runs along the Montana Hi-Line is known as the Empire Builder. It runs between Chicago and Seattle/Portland.