An Amtrak passenger train derailed Monday morning, spilling multiple cars off an Interstate 5 overpass in Pierce County, Washington
Multiple fatalities onboard an Amtrak Cascade train #501 when it derailed near an overpass over Interstate 5, and some of the train cars crashed to the road below. No one was killed on the roadway of Interstate 5, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. Several motorists on the highway were injured when their vehicles were struck by the derailed train cars southwest of Tacoma.
Train 501 was a new early morning high-speed service on its first day between Seattle and Portland, launched from Seattle on Monday December 18, 2017 at 6 a.m. According to an online tracker, the train had been moving at 81 miles per hour — near its maximum speed. The derailment occurred on a stretch of railroad tracks with a fairly sharp turn just before the overpass where the train was traveling from east to west.
Amtrak confirmed 78 passengers and five crew members were aboard the train.
Amtrak Cascades trains connect 18 cities along the I-5 corridor including Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, BC, and Eugene, Oregon. Four new trains between Seattle and Portland were scheduled to start December 18, 2017
An Amtrak passenger train derailed onto the I-5 freeway south of Seattle, the Washington State Department of Transportation confirmed in a tweet Monday and shortly after the crash.
CHI Franciscan Health reported 77 patients being transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston Counties, including four “level red patients” with severe injuries. Patients are being transported to St. Joseph Medical Center and Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma, St. Clair Hospital in Lakewood, St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. Twenty patients are being treated at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Greg Mukai says drivers ran forward to help victims of Amtrak train 501, notes the scene was eerily quiet.
John Hyatt, a railroad investigator speaking on Fox News, said there were early reports that train cars hit a truck, and said there was a transportation worker aboard the train that was live tweeting for the new trip, and his last tweet reported that the train hit a truck. Hiatt, a former BNSF Engineer now working for Bremseth Law Firm in Minnesota, said video showed the locomotive was intact on the tracks after the crash.
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