Amtrak Train Derails, Crashes Onto Interstate In Washington

Amtrak Train Derails, Crashes Onto Interstate In Washington

Amtrak Train Derails, Crashes Onto Interstate In Washington

A preliminary investigation suggested the train struck an object on the track. About 77 people were taken to local hospitals with some in critical condition.

Police said five vehicles and two trucks were hit on the highway.

Pictures from the scene showed one train auto overturned and crushed on the interstate highway and another dangling down from the overpass above.

The Amtrak 501 train was the first train of a high-speed Cascades commuter service from Seattle to Portland launched on Monday morning.

The National Transportation Safety Board said a "go-team" is departing from Washington, D.C., to investigate the derailment.

Amtrak president and co-chief executive Richard Anderson said: "On behalf of everyone at Amtrak, we are deeply saddened by all that has happened today".

Chris Karnes, a local transit official who was aboard the train, told local CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV that the accident took place while it was going around a curve.

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"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".

The scene where an Amtrak passenger train derailed on a bridge over interstate highway I-5 in DuPont, Washington, December 18, 2017. "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 $181 million Point Defiance Bypass project had been in the works for more than a decade.

The train was reportedly travelling at more than 80 miles per hour when it derailed.

All southbound lanes of Interstate 5 were closed south of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and motorists were being warned to avoid the area. "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.

"I shot this video on board the #Amtrak501 in the 6 o clock hour this morning", Alex Rozier said on Twitter. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble!

At the time, analysts said positive train control technology could have prevented the accident.

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