At least 6 people killed as Amtrak tain derails onto highway in Washington state

Amtrak Train Derailment

Six people have died after an Amtrak train with over 70 people on board and 5 crew derailed on a bridge in Washington state, according to authorities. The train was making its first-ever run along a faster new route.

Seventy-eight passengers and five crew members were aboard the Cascade 501 train when it was moving at more than 80 mph derailed about 40 miles from Seattle before 8 am, Amtrak said, according to the Associated Press.

The death count is expected to rise, a US official told AP.

The Pierce County sheriff’s office has released photos of the mangled train cars dangling off the overpass and blocking the highway.

The train was traveling from Tacoma to Olympia and derailed just west of DuPont, in Pierce County. An airlift helicopter is on its way to the scene, according to KIRO 7.

Passenger Chris Karnes said those on the train were forced to kick out train windows to exit, as the emergency doors were not functioning correctly.

“We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve,” Karnes said, as quoted by CBS News. “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.”

“The tracks for this line were supposed to be upgraded to be able to handle higher speeds,” Karnes continued. “I’m not sure what happened at this juncture.”

It will take “all day or a couple of days” to clear the area and finish the investigation, Trooper Brooke Bova of Washington State Patrol told reporters. The highway will likely remain shut for the remainder of Monday, she added.

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