Several cars of a long-distance Amtrak train derail in midwest state, with officials reporting three deaths and several injuries among the nearly 250 passengers aboard.

Amtrak train, traveling on a route from Los Angeles to Chicago, struck a dump truck at a public rail crossing in Mendon, Missouri.
Amtrak train, traveling on a route from Los Angeles to Chicago, struck a dump truck at a public rail crossing in Mendon, Missouri. (Reuters)

An Amtrak passenger train travelling from Los Angeles to Chicago has derailed in Missouri state, leaving three people dead and many injured among some 243 people aboard, according to officials and US media.

"There are multiple injuries and we can confirm there were three fatalities –– two on the train and one in the dump truck," Justin Dunn, a spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, told reporters at a press conference on Monday.

The train's collision with a dump truck left at least 50 people injured and killed multiple others, CNN news website said, citing officials.

The Southwest Chief struck a dump truck near Mendon at 1:42 pm [local time], Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said.

Social media posts from the scene show several rail cars on their sides. The Missouri Highway Patrol said eight cars derailed.

Helicopter video shown by KMBC-TV in Kansas City from the scene showed rail cars on their side as emergency responders used ladders to climb into one of them. The video also showed six medical helicopters parked nearby waiting to transport patients.

Three passengers were taken from the scene to University Hospital in Columbia, hospital spokesman Eric Maze said. He did not have information on their conditions.

The Highway Patrol and other local law enforcement units were at the scene to help and Amtrak said it has deployed resources to the site.

Mendon, with a population of about 160, is about 135 kilometres northeast of Kansas City.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies