The fatal derailment of an Amtrak train occurred on a rebuilt $181 million track corridor that was supposed to make the trip more reliable between Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.
Amtrak Cascades 501, with at least 83 people aboard, was the first regular service to use the “bypass” track that goes directly from Tacoma to DuPont, instead of a slow but scenic path along Puget Sound at Tacoma Narrows. Many reports state that the train was taking a curve at a high rate of speed at the time. The National Transportation Safety Board has been summoned to investigate the cause of the crash.
The Associated Press, citing an unnamed U.S. official, reported that at least six people were killed in the crash. It is being reported that at least 77 people were taken to area hospitals.
Photos and video from the tragic site show train cars dangling off the tracks over Interstate 5. Five cars and two semi trucks below reportedly were crushed by train cars that derailed from the tracks.
Gov. Jay Inslee has called a state of emergency in response to the derailment.