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Multiple Dead, Dozens Injured in Washington Amtrak Derailment
Jarod Cassidy2 years ago
UPDATE: New reports have corrected initial fatality counts, with the confirmed death toll falling to three.
Early reports indicate that at least six people are dead and more than 70 people have been transported to the hospital following an Amtrak train derailment near Lacey, Washington.
About the Fatal Washington Train Crash
According to KIRO 7, a high-speed Amtrak train derailed on an overpass about 60 miles south of Seattle Monday morning. The crash resulted in passenger cars landing on Interstate 5 below while other cars were left dangling over the highway.
An Amtrak spokesperson reported that roughly 78 passengers and five crew members were on board at the time of the crash. Multiple cars and trucks were struck by at least one of the derailed train cars. It is unclear how many of the deceased and injured were occupants aboard the train and how many were in passenger vehicles on the highway below.
The passenger train was on its inaugural trip along a new service route when the accident occurred. It was meant to provide service from Seattle to Portland.
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency. Area hospitals are requesting blood donations to help victims of the derailment.
NTSB to Investigate the Cause of the Fatal Derailment
Investigators and reporters are scrambling for some idea of what may have caused the derailment. While early reports indicated that excess speed could have been a factor in the crash, an official who was briefed on the investigation says preliminary signs suggest the Amtrak train may have struck something before going of the rails.
Transitdocs.com, a website which maps the locations and speed of Amtrak trains, says the train involved, Train 501, was traveling at a speed of 81.1 mph just before the accident.
In a series of tweets following the fatal crash, President Donald J. Trump opined that poor infrastructure may have also been a factor in the derailment and tragic loss of life.
The National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, will be investigating the Amtrak train derailment.