(1st REPORT, 1:52 pm) A man is dead after a collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a John Deere sprayer tractor near Bainville in northeastern Montana.
The Emergency Planning Committee in Roosevelt County said in a news release that it happened on Friday morning on Highway 2 at mile marker 653, at a crossing with no crossing arms. The Montana Highway Patrol was notified of the collision at 10:49 a.m.
The man operating the sprayer died, according to officials. His name has not yet been released. Ten train cars derailed with several injuries reported; the injured passengers have been taken to Culbertson High School for triage.
Roosevelt County dispatch says that all train traffic is stopped on the line at this time, and they recommend avoiding the 6th Avenue Bainville crossing and to reroute traffic to the underpass. We will update you if we get more details.
(UPDATE, 3:30 pm) Marc Magliari, a spokesman for Amtrak, says that the collision involved a westbound Amtrak with 64 customers and 10 crew members. At this point, according to Magliari, none of the crew or passengers have required hospitalization.
In an email, Magliari said the train was damaged and remained upright as it lost contact with the tracks. The train originated in Chicago on Thursday with the Train 7 section destined for Seattle and the Train 27 section destined for Portland.
He said the collision also affected eastbound Train 8/28, which also originated Thursday, as the railroad is temporarily closed for an investigation and any needed repairs. This train will terminate in Wolf Point and is returning back to its origins, taking those customers from the westbound train. The 49 customers who had been eastbound are being offered travel on the next eastbound train.
In this area, Amtrak uses tracks owned and dispatched by BNSF Railway. Magliari said Amtrak appreciates the assistance by the host railroad and the Culberson community. The collision is being investigated by the Montana Highway Patrol.
(UPDATE, 5:17 pm) One Amtrak customer and one crew member were treated and released by a hospital. Two other crew members are being treated and both are expected to be released soon.