Train Derails in Washington State Causing 'Multiple Fatalities'
VOA News Last Updated: 18 December 2017 (8:56PM)
Download Amtrak derails in Washington State in MP4 format - 12.1MB - 0:38 (1:30PM) Video from scene of Amtrak train derailment in Washington state, Dec. 18, 2017. The train derailed with some of its cars falling on a busy interstate below. Local authorities reported multiple casualties.
An Amtrak train derailed Monday in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington during its first-ever run along a faster new route, with some of its cars falling on a busy interstate below and killing at least three riders.
Local officials say more than 100 others were injured when 13 of the train's 14 cars jumped the tracks.
Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova said five vehicles, plus two semitrailer trucks, were hit by the train cars that derailed. Some motorists were injured but none died, according to authorities.
"It's pretty horrific," Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told reporters.
Amtrak said that 78 passengers and five crew members were on board the Cascades train 501, part of a newly expanded and faster rail service between Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. Monday marked the first day that Amtrak began operating four new trains on the route.
Photos of the scene shared by local police and transportation departments showed at least one overturned and mangled train car on Interstate 5 — a busy highway that connects Seattle to Olympia — and another train car dangling from the overpass.
U.S. President Donald Trump expressed condolences for the victims of the derailment at the beginning of a speech Monday in Washington.
"Let me begin by expressing our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt prayers for the victims of the train derailment in Washington State. We are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with local authorities.
"It is all the more reason why we must start immediately fixing the infrastructure of the United States," he added.
Trump also tweeted about the U.S. infrastructure plan Monday after the accident.
The accident took place about halfway between Tacoma and Olympia, the capital of Washington state.
The National Transportation Safety Board says it has sent a team of investigators to the scene of the accident.