Amtrak train crash: 'multiple fatalities' reported in derailment near Seattle





 A handout photo from Washington state patrol shows the derailed train on Interstate 5 near Olympia. Photograph: Washington state patrol/EPA

  • Train was heading south on new high-speed rail route that opened on Monday 
  • Pictures show derailed train hanging off overpass above Interstate 5

An Amtrak train has derailed roughly 40 miles (64km) south of Seattle, spilling cars on to a busy interstate.
Authorities reported “multiple fatalities” on the train, the Associated Press said. Many injuries were also reported.

The train was traveling south on a new high-speed rail route that opened on Monday when it derailed just before 8am. After the derailment, one of the train’s carriages was left hanging off an overpass, resting on an overturned train car below.

The Pierce County sheriff’s office said in a tweet that the derailed train had struck several cars on the interstate. “Multiple motorists injured on roadway, no fatalities of motorists reported,” it said.

The derailment occurred just south of Tacoma in Washington state.

The Seattle Times reported at least three people were killed after the train derailed. The Guardian was not able to immediately confirm the number of fatalities.

Chris Karnes was three or four cars back from the front of the derailed train. He told the Associated Press in a brief phone interview Monday morning that he was “not sure what got hit”.

Karnes was unhurt and is now near the medical tents set up in a median area between north- and southbound Interstate 5. Several passengers were gathered at the staging area there an hour after the derailment, clad in grey blankets and using their cellphones.

Amtrak said service south of Seattle was temporarily suspended but service north of Seattle would continue to operate.

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

Local politicians had previously expressed concern about plans to introduce the high-speed rail to the region.
“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,” Don Anderson, mayor of Lakewood, said earlier this month.



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Amtrak train crash: 'multiple fatalities' reported in derailment near Seattle Amtrak train crash: 'multiple fatalities' reported in derailment near Seattle Reviewed by Prameela Rani G N on December 18, 2017 Rating: 5

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