CHESTER — Three people have died and there are numerous injuries reported after an Amtrak train derailed in Liberty County along Montana's Hi-Line.
It happened about three miles west of the town of Joplin.
CBS News reports that there are at least three confirmed fatalities, according to the Liberty County Sheriff.
The train consisted of two locomotives and 10 cars, with seven of the cars derailing. There is no word yet on what caused the derailment
Amtrak confirmed the derailment near Joplin and released the following statement:
At approximately 4 pm MT, Empire Builder train 7/27 derailed operating near Joplin, MT. There are approximately 146 passengers and 16 crew members onboard, with injuries reported. Individuals with questions about their friends and family aboard this train should call 800-523-9101. Amtrak is working with the local authorities to transport injured passengers, and safely evacuate all other passengers.
Pictures shared on social media show 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. 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.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending 14 investigators to the site, according to CBS News.
MTN has a reporter at the scene and will update you when more details are available.