One person is reported dead and passengers and crew were injured after the westbound Amtrak Empire Builder hit a John Deere sprayer tractor east of Wolf Point, Mont., shortly before 11 a.m. today. The Billings Gazette reports the accident occurred near Bainville at an ungated grade crossing, and that the operator of the tractor was killed. Initial reports from the Roosevelt County, Mont., emergency planning agency reported multiple cars derailed; Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said in a statement that the train “remained upright as it lost contact with the tracks,” and that there were no reports of life-threatening injuries to the 64 passengers and 10 crew members. One passenger and three crew members were treated and released at a local hospital. Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Fredericks told the Gazette that all of the passengers onboard sustained injures.
Passengers were taken to Culbertson (Mont.) High School for triage, according to Great Falls TV station KRTV. Magliari said in an email that the passengers remained sheltered there as they await substitute transportation. With the BNSF Railway tracks closed for investigation and repairs, the eastbound Empire Builder that departed Portland and Seattle on Thursday will terminate at Wolf Point, and return to its points of origin with the passengers from the westbound train.
Bainville is about 28 miles west of Williston, N.D. and about five miles west of the Montana/North Dakota state line.
— Updated at 6:15 p.m. on May 29 with information on those treated at a hospital; updated at 8:36 p.m. with revised figure from Amtrak for number of crew members treated.