NTSB Investigators on Scene at Montana Amtrak Derailment


Photo of NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg walking the crash scene.

​​NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg walking the crash scene.​

​​​GREAT FALLS, Montana (Sept. 26, 2021) Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have arrived at the site of Saturday’s derailment of Amtrak’s Empire Builder passenger train near Joplin, Montana.

The NTSB is the lead agency in the investigation of the derailment, which occurred at approximately 3:55 p.m. Saturday in a remote section of Montana.

The NTSB team consists of 14 investigators with expertise in:

  • Rail operations
  • Mechanical
  • Human performance
  • Track
  • Signal systems
  • Recorders
  • Survival factors
  • Family assistance

The team is led by Investigator-In-Charge Jim Southworth, who has more than 25 years of experience in rail investigations. NTSB investigators expect to be on scene in Montana for at least seven days.

An NTSB investigation typically looks not only at what occurred but why and proposes recommendations to prevent future similar tragedies.

NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg is expected to hold a media briefing on the derailment Monday in the late afternoon. Details on location and time will be posted tomorrow on Twitter @NTSB_Newsroom.

Eric Weiss of NTSB Media Relations is traveling with the team in Montana. His email is eric.weiss@ntsb.gov.

To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).