Amtrak said the train collided with a truck at a public crossing near the city of Mendon around 1:42 p.m. CT.
Dunn said authorities are still trying to determine the exact number of fatalities. Two of the dead were on board the train, while the third was in the truck, Dunn said at a news conference.
Eight cars and two locomotives left the track “after hitting a truck blocking a public crossing near Mendon, Missouri,” company officials said in an updated statement.
Amtrak had previously said there were about 243 passengers and 12 crew members on board the train.
A school has been converted into a triage center for victims with minor injuries, he said.
The train hit a dump truck, officials said.
Everything went in slow motion, said the passenger
Robert Nightingale, a passenger in a sleeping car, said he was taking a nap when he heard something.
“It all happened in slow motion. It started rocking and, and rocking, and then flickering, and then all of a sudden it was — all this dust was coming through my window,” Nightingale, who is from Taos, New Mexico, said. cnn.
He said the train overturned on the side where his compartment was.
Nightingale, who was uninjured, said he couldn’t get through the window, which was blocked by dirt, so he grabbed his backpack and climbed into the hallway. Then he went to an adjacent room where he found a way to climb out and onto the side of the train.
He said some people helped others reach the ground where he and others walked to the front of the train. He said the truck looked like it had big boulders in it.
“It hit something big that made … every car go off,” he said.
Mendon is about 100 miles northeast of Kansas City. The train was en route from Los Angeles to Chicago.
Amtrak said people who need immediate help with information about the train can call or text 1-800-USA-RAIL.
This is a story in development and will be updated.
Andi Babineau of DailyExpertNews contributed to this report.