"Multiple" deaths reported after Amtrak train derails in US
19 December, 2017, 11:00 | Author: Keith Rowe
An Amtrak passenger train traveling on a new route for the first time derailed Monday in Washington state, killing at least three people as cars plunged off a bridge onto a busy highway at the height of morning rush hour, officials said.
It also happened on the first day of a new route for Amtrak trains moving between Tacoma and the state capital of Olympia.
"All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill", passenger Chris Karnes said, as cited by Reuters.
Several train cars fell onto the road below, killing at least six people and striking multiple road vehicles in the process.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency after Amtrak train 501 derailed about 7:30 a.m. local time along Interstate 5 as it was leaving the new Tacoma station.
Karnes said that people had escaped the wreckage by kicking out windows.
The Amtrak Cascades service that launched Monday is part of an $800-million expansion of Amtrak intercity passenger rail service.
It's still not clear what caused the train to derail but the The National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. "Emergency services are on the scene and Amtrak management is responding", it said in an earlier tweet. "A lot of them were screaming and moaning, but there was nothing we could do to help them really, so we just stayed with them, we held their hands, we talked to them, we rubbed their backs, tried to get them to just relax and try to be a comfortable as they could", he said.
The train was reportedly travelling at more than 80 miles per hour when it derailed.
Image: The train came off the rail bridge over the I-5 highway.
"Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens", Anderson said, according to a local ABC affiliate.
President Donald Trump on Monday used a multi-casualty train crash to plug his promise to invest in the nation's infrastructure. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble!
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