Amtrak train derails on highway bridge in Washington
Amtrak train derails on highway bridge in Washington
Image Pic @wspd1pio
19 December, 2017, 11:01
At least three people have died and 100 injured after a train derailed while crossing a highway bridge in Washington state.
Dozens of people were reportedly taken to area hospitals for treatment, with several said to be in serious condition.
The Amtrak service was on its inaugural journey on a new route from Seattle to Portland when the accident happened at the height of the morning rush hour. "We are aware of an incident involving Amtrak train 501", the rail operator said on Twitter.
"No fatalities on the roadway".
State transportation authorities reported that the $181 million new route passes over Interstate 5 which allows the trains to reach a higher speed of 79 miles per hour, shortening the commute time.
"All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill", passenger Chris Karnes said, as cited by Reuters.
Karnes said the train's lights went out and water came gushing out of the ceiling.
'Next thing, we're being slammed into the front of our seats.' People kicked out windows to escape, he said.
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"I knew right away that this was a major accident, that there was probably going to be some pretty, pretty graphic fatalities and injuries, so I prepared myself for the worst going in - and I hoped for the best - and there was both", he said.
"There was one person who was injured in our vehicle, and I was sent to go find help for them".
Local officials had warned only weeks ago that the track still might not be safe enough to handle trains at higher speeds.
In a tweet, President Donald Trump said: "My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Wash".
The new Siemens Charger locomotives were equipped with "positive train control" safety systems, created to automatically stop the train in unsafe situations and mandated for trains around the country.
The train was going at a speed of 81.1mph moments before the derailment, according to transitdocs.com, a website that maps Amtrak train locations and speeds using data from the railroad's train tracker app.
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