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At Least Three Killed and Numerous Injured when Empire Builder Amtrak Train Derails on BNSF Tracks in Montana

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Joplin, Montana – September 21, 2021)

At least three individuals were killed and countless others seriously injured in Joplin, Montana after an Amtrak train derailed Saturday around 4:00 pm local time. As of Monday morning, seven passengers still remain hospitalized with two in the intensive care unit. The train consisted of two locomotives and 10 cars. Eight of the 10 cars derailed during the incident.

The derailment occurred while the westbound Empire Builder Amtrak train was operating over BNSF tracks. Why the Amtrak train derailed is currently still being investigated by the NTSB and railroad officials. But early information points to a track defect or misaligned switch.

Within the last several years, Amtrak has had several derailments causing significant injuries and loss of life. In 2018, three people were killed and several others injured in Cayce, South Carolina when a misaligned switch caused the Amtrak train to strike a stopped CSX freight train head on. Also in 2018, an Amtrak train derailed in Kansas due to a defect in the track, injured dozens on board. In 2015, an Amtrak train derailed in Halifax, North Carolina after striking a large piece of equipment, injured dozens on board the train.

Pottroff & Karlin has successfully handled passenger claims for these prior train derailments. We stand ready and able to provide critical answers to the innocent passengers injured in this tragedy. If you or your loved one is involved in this Amtrak derailment near Joplin, Montana, it is important that you contact an attorney who knows the technical details of railroad litigation. The lawyers of Pottroff & Karlin have devoted themselves solely to railroad safety, and are eager to help you with your problems.  Our attorneys not only seek all the compensation you are entitled to but after every derailment, we strive to force the railroads to increase safety and ensure that this tragedy does not happen to any other families.

If you have been involved in this derailment, please call us today at (785) 539-4656, send us an email at, or fill out the form below for a free case evaluation.  Contact us and we will discuss your options openly and honestly.



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