January 20, 2018

Amtrak train derails on highway bridge in Washington

19 December 2017, 11:02 | Rex Hubbard

Image The train came off the rail bridge over the I-5 highway. Pic @wspd1pio

Pic @wspd1pio

Officials in the USA state of Washington said that there had been at least six fatalities after an Amtrak passenger train derailed during its inaugural run on a new faster route near the city of Tacoma.

It said the injured people were receiving treatment at Good Samaritan Hospital, Allenmore Hospital ad Tacoma General Hospital in the Pierce County, Washington State on the US west coast.

"We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve", passenger Chris Karnes - the chair of the Pierce Transit Community Transportation Advisory Group (CTAG) - told local CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV.

The scene where an Amtrak passenger train derailed on a bridge over interstate highway I-5 in DuPont, Washington, December 18, 2017.

"Multiple cars and trucks were struck by train cars that left the train tracks and went down onto the road", a spokesman for the sheriff's office said.

'Next thing, we're being slammed into the front of our seats.' People kicked out windows to escape, he said.

Karnes said the tracks were supposed to have been upgraded to accommodate higher speeds.

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"There was one person who was injured in our auto, and I was sent to go find help for them". Amtrak posted a number for people to inquire about any friends and family who were on Train 501.

Local officials had warned only weeks ago that the track still might not be safe enough to handle trains at higher speeds. National Transportation Safety Board investigators were looking at the scene to determine the cause.

The train was reportedly travelling at more than 80 miles per hour when it derailed. "I'm not sure what happened at this juncture".

US President Donald Trump tweeted that the incident shows "more than ever" why his infrastructure plan "must be approved quickly".

The new Siemens Charger locomotives were equipped with "positive train control" safety systems, created to automatically stop the train in unsafe situations and mandated for trains around the country.

The incident marks Amtrak's second derailment in Washington State this year.

Daniel Konzelman, and his girlfriend, Alicia Hoverson, were among the first on the scene after an Amtrak train derailed traveling along an overpass in Washington state.

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