Officials Seeking Cause of Crash After Deadly Amtrak Train Derailment

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Officials are seeking a cause of crash after a deadly Amtrak train derailment left 3 people dead. According to Amtrak officials, around 4 pm MT, an Empire Builder train 7/27 derailed near Joplin, Montana. The train was traveling from Chicago to Seattle and would derail in Joplin, Montana - a small city that homes approximately 200 people.

The train had about 141 passengers and 16 crew members, on-board at the time of the accident. The train had two locomotives and 10 cars attached, at the time of the crash 8 of those 10 cars derailed. Some of those cars actually tipped onto their sides due to the impact.

At this time, one victim has been identified - family members identified Zach Schneider of Fairview Heights, Illinois, as one of the deceased passengers.

Schneider's family told ABC News that Zach was a very big fan of the Green Bay Packers and loved a good slice of Chicago-style pizza.

The two other victims have not been identified at the time of writing.

A Joplin resident, Trevor Fossen, was first one of the first people on the scene and described what he saw.

"I started looking at that, wondering what it was and then I saw the train had tipped over and derailed,"

Fossen stated - he also called 911 and started trying to get people out of the derailed train. He also called his brother to bring ladders to the scene to help passengers who could not get down after the train fell on it's side.

A passenger, Jacob Cordeiro of Rhode Island, discussed what went on from his perspective.

"I was in one of the front cars and we got badly jostled, thrown from one side of the train to the other," ... "I'm a pretty big guy and it picked me up from my chair and threw me into one wall and then threw me into the other wall,"

Officials are now seeking a cause of the crash. How did this happen?

Amtrak CEO, Bill Flynn, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and stated that Amtrak is actively working with the NTSB, Federal Railroad Administration, and local law enforcement, to find out what happened.

***This story is developing***

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