It was the first day Amtrak traveled the new route outside Tacoma, Washington with 78 passengers and five crew members. The southbound Amtrak Train 501 of Amtrak’s Cascades service from Seattle to Portland was traveling 70 mph passed the city of Dupont when it derailed at 7:40 a.m. PT.
Passenger Chris Karnes, who is also a member of a local transportation advisory group said, “At a certain point the train started to wobble a little and the next thing that we knew we were down in a ditch. The train had crumpled.”
All southbound lanes on I-5 are blocked due to a train car on the highway by Mounts Road in Pierce County. Amtrak service south of Seattle was temporarily suspended.
Detective Ed Troyer from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said there are multiple injuries and fatalities. The rescue was still underway but none of the fatalities involved motorists, even though a train car fell onto the highway.
Troyer stated it was obvious upon his arrival that there were fatalities and serious injuries. Some of the passengers were able to get off the train. The number of fatalities and injuries was not released because the rescue effort was still underway.
The cause of the Amtrak derailment has not been determined. The National Transportation Safety Board is assembling a team to investigate the incident. There were multiple injuries and fatalities.
The Point Defiance Bypass Project is the name of the new route designed to improve tracks that “hugged the scenic Puget Sound.” The route includes tight curves and single-track tunnels.
This is a developing story. Guardian Liberty Voice will provide updates as they become available.
Update: 77 people have been taken to area hospitals. There were a number of fatalities, however, the number is still unknown. According to the mayor of Dupont, the cars have not been lifted off the track and not all of the cars have been emptied at this time. Amtrak stated there were 7 crew members and 77 passengers.
Written by Jeanette Smith
NBC News: Amtrak derailment: Train crashes near Tacoma, Washington, fatalities reported
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