‘No words that can adequately express our sorrow’: Amtrak CEO gives statement about derailment

Multiple Injuries After Amtrak Train Derails In Montana
Kimberly Fossen

In this photo provided by Kimberly Fossen people work at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in north-central Montana. Multiple people were injured when the train that runs between Seattle and Chicago derailed Saturday, the train agency said.

In response to the Amtrak derailment in Montana that left three people dead and others injured, Amtrak’s CEO expressed sorrow for those who died and described what the company is doing to help those affected.

Near Joplin, MT, an Amtrak Empire Builder train derailed seven of its 10 cars Saturday afternoon. Around 147 passengers and 13 crew members were onboard. The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office said it is not known how many people were injured.

“We are in mourning today for the people who lost their lives due to the derailment of the Empire Builder train Saturday, near Joplin, Montana, on the BNSF Railway, as well as the many others who were injured,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “We have no words that can adequately express our sorrow for those who lost a loved one or who were hurt in this horrible event. They are in our thoughts and prayers.”

In the statement, Flynn said they are cooperating with the investigation. He added they are working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Railroad Administration, local law enforcement and response agencies.

“Amtrak’s immediate and sustained focus is on doing everything we can to help our passengers and crew, especially the families of those who were injured or died, at this painful and difficult time,” Flynn said.

He said the company’s incident response team has been initiated. Amtrak has sent emergency personnel and company leadership to help support passengers, employees and their families.

Anyone with questions about their family and friends aboard the train is encouraged to call 800-523-9101. Flynn said a Family Assistance Center has been established in Great Fall, MT. Family assistance liaisons will be at the site to reach out to those injured and their families.

As of Sunday, five people were still in the hospital at Benefis Health System in Great Falls. The sheriff’s office said most of the injured have been treated and released.

Flynn said they will not be commenting further on the incident itself until the investigation is complete. He added that the NTSB will identify the cause and Amtrak will take appropriate actions to prevent similar incidents from occurring.

The full statement can be read here.

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