An Amtrak train derailed close to Seattle on Monday with the train cars falling on to the road of Interstate 5 according to Washington State Police. 3 people were killed in the incident.
In a statement by Amtrak it disclosed that there were roughly 80 passengers, 1 technician and 5 crew members on board. The train was the Cascades 501 which was on the routes first day of service. It was to operate between Seattle Washington and Portland in Oregon.
Several authorities including federal police are investigating whether or not the train was going too fast. It has been suggested the train was travelling at 80 mph in a 30 mph section of track.
Washington State Police confirmed in a press conference that 3 people were dead, ten were seriously injured and another had been flown to hospital. There were also several other injuries that were unaccounted for.
The Police had initially reported 6 dead in the hours just after the incident, but this was not the case.
The train derailed on the Mounts Road overpass which is in between Tacoma and Olympia.
There were 5 cars and 2 tractors on the highway that were struck by the 13 falling train cars. Some of the train cars were seen piled up descending down from the overpass.
No motorists were killed but several were reported injured. The incident happened around 7:40 in the morning.
The train was recorded to be travelling at over 80 mph when the incident happened. Officials told the press that a possible cause was obstruction in the track.
Amtrak has temporarily suspended its services south of the city of Seattle.
In the hours following the incident Amtrak President Richard Anderson made a statement to the press. He stated that Amtrak was “deeply saddened” by the events that had taken place and that they would do “everything in our power” to support the families of the victims.
First responders were allegedly treating the derailing as a “mass casualty” incident.
A website notice by the Washington State Department of Transportation that went up before the accident said that this was the first day for the Cascades train to use the I-5 route.
A reporter who had gotten off the train at a previous stop stated that the train seemed to have derailed meme minutes after they had gotten off.
This was the first use of the track since it had been upgraded from a freight and military track to one that could support a passenger rail service.
Investigators have said it is too early to know what the true cause of the accident was.