Those who were not seriously injured were loaded onto school buses and the senior citizen bus and taken to a school gymnasium and community center in Chester, where residents helped them charge their cell phones to call emergency services. families and health workers assessed them. Some took showers and the passengers were offered food.
Ricky Maan, owner of the Chester supermarket, said he provided water and ice, made pizza and allowed residents to take everything passengers needed, including towels, wipes and bandages.
“I told my cashier not to charge them,” said Maan, whose family bought groceries five years ago. “We can help people who have already suffered. “
He added, “We like to help all the time. It’s our community. . . . We lived in a big city, you never see like that. But in a small town, everyone’s like, once something happens, it’s all together. “
A religious group brought in ingredients for making sandwiches. Some people drove passengers to Great Falls or Kalispell that night to reunite them with hospitalized family members, and others took passengers to Great Falls to catch a return flight, officials said.
Recordings of 911 calls to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office included breathless passengers asking for help, describing injuries to other passengers – including two men with cuts to their heads – and at least one Amtrak employee describing a colleague’s injuries and saying there were over 90 people on board. People on the freeway who saw the derailment also called to make sure it had been reported.