Six dead, 77 injured in Washington state Amtrak crash - UPDATED-1

Six dead, 77 injured in Washington state Amtrak crash - UPDATED-1
  • Clock-gray 21:13
  • calendar-gray 18 December 2017

An Amtrak train hurtled over a bridge across Interstate 5 in Washington State on Monday, which the Associated Press reported led to the deaths of six people and an estimated 77 injuries.

 

Amtrak reported in a statement that 78 passengers and five crew members were aboard the train when it crashed. All 13 of the Amtrak's cars were derailed.

 

The derailment occurred in DuPont, 40 miles south of Seattle and just outside Tacoma, Washington. It also happened on the first day of a new route for Amtrak trains moving between Tacoma and the state capital of Olympia.

 

State transportation authorities reported that the $181 million new route passes over Interstate 5 which allows the trains to reach a higher speed of 79 miles per hour, shortening the commute time. However, Amtrak reported the train to have exceeded its maximum speed, and was traveling at 81 mph at the time of the crash.

 

Local sources reported that Don Anderson, mayor of the nearby town of Lakewood, opposed the new route because of what he called insufficient safety measures.

 

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21:00

 

An Amtrak passenger train derailed on a bridge over a major highway in Washington state on Monday morning, sending part of the train crashing down onto Interstate 5 and killing several passengers, authorities said, APA reports quoting Reuters.

 

 

A spokesman for the local sheriff’s office, Ed Troyer, told reporters at the scene there were “multiple” deaths but did not have a specific number to report. He also said no motorists were killed, though some were injured when part of the train struck several vehicles.

 

Amtrak passenger Chris Karnes told local news outlet KIRO 7 that passengers were forced to kick out train windows in order to escape, because emergency doors were not functioning properly following the derailment.

 

“We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve,” Karnes said. “All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill.”

 

“The next thing we know, we’re being slammed into the front of our seats, windows are breaking, we stop, and there’s water gushing out of the train. People were screaming,” he added.

 

 

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20:43

 

A major emergency response operation is currently underway, while the governor of the state has described the situation as "ongoing and serious."

 

A high-speed Amtrak passenger train has derailed near Tacoma in the US state of Washington, with the Pierce County sheriff saying that "injuries and casualties" were reported.

 

While the authorities are yet to release a statement on the exact number casualties in the accident, a major emergency response has been underway after the train fell off a bridge that runs above a major interstate.

Ceyhun Aliyev

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