An Amtrak passenger train collided with a garbage truck Tuesday on a rural stretch of central Mississippi track, injuring at least seven people, authorities said.

Three of those taken to hospitals were Amtrak employees who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said. He did not know the status of the others hurt, or whether they were train passengers, truck passengers or both.

A fire broke out after the collision, authorities said, damaging the engine. The train's final car, which was empty, left the track.

The estimated 100 passengers aboard the southbound City of New Orleans train were moved to a nearby school and were to be taken to their destinations by bus, Magliari said. He said the train left Chicago on Monday night and had been due in Louisiana Tuesday afternoon.

The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m. in Copiah County, south of Jackson.

Matt Morning of St. Louis, who was returning to school at the University of New Orleans, said he and another student were eating in the dining car when the accident occurred.

"We were just sitting when all of the sudden we felt this incredible jolt," Morning said.

He said it felt like the train was going to jump the tracks.

Morning said people came into the dining car and told everyone to stay put.

"They later came back and directed us to the exits. We're just kind of stranded," Morning said.

The northbound City of New Orleans was held at the station just as it was set to depart Tuesday afternoon, Magliari said.

Canadian National Railway owns the tracks.