An inaugural ride on a new line meant to speed train service in Washington state turned deadly Monday after an Amtrak train carrying more than 80 people derailed outside of Tacoma — causing several train cars to tumble from a highway overpass and killing at least three people, officials said.

At least 100 people were taken to nearby hospitals, officials said. At least two people are in critical condition, while 11 other people are seriously injured, hospital officials told The Associated Press. At least one person was taken into surgery.

SeattleTrain1

An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle early Monday, causing “injuries and casualties,” according to officials.  (Washington State Patrol Trooper Brooke Bova)

Washington State Patrol Public Information Officer Brooke Bova told reporters Monday evening that three people have been confirmed dead. The Associated Press initially reported six people were dead, citing a U.S. official.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency after Amtrak train 501 derailed around 7:30 a.m. along Interstate 5 as it was leaving the new Tacoma station. A U.S. official told The Associated Press the death toll is expected to rise and track obstruction is being investigated as a possible cause of the derailment.

The train was traveling southbound from Seattle when it derailed. Washington State Trooper Brooke Bova said 12  train cars and two engines jumped the tracks. Thirteen total cars were derailed.

President Trump tweeted Monday afternoon: “The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”

Police previously said several cars were struck by the Amtrak train cars, injuring multiple drivers on the highway. No motorists’ deaths were reported, according to Pierce County officials.

Amtrak said 77 passengers and seven crew members were on board the train, part of its “Cascades” service from Seattle to Portland, Ore. It received reports of passengers and crew members injured that were taken to the hospital. Service for two Amtrak Cascades trains were canceled.

A highway camera showed at least one train car toppled onto the road, causing a traffic jam. Photos tweeted by Public Information Officer Bova showed one detached and smashed on the ground. Another car was dangling from the overpass.

Chris Karnes, who was on the train — three or four cars back from the front — told The Associated Press: “I’m not sure what got hit. I’m not sure what happened.”

Bova told Fox News’ “Happening Now” that people are advised to avoid Interstate 5 and that clearing the area will be an “all day” process.

Kaines, the chair of Pierce Transit’s advisory board, said on Twitter, “The train has derailed. Emergency crews are on the scene. Massive damage. People are hurt.” He said the train appeared to have hit a truck, adding that the car was “destroyed.”

The train was going 81.1 mph 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.

A derailed train is seen on southbound Interstate 5 on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in DuPont, Wash. An Amtrak train making an inaugural run on a new route derailed south of Seattle on Monday, spilling train cars onto a busy interstate in an accident that resulted in "multiple fatalities" and numerous injuries, authorities said.  (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

Washington State Trooper Brooke Bova said 12 train cars and two engines jumped the tracks, and thirteen total cars were derailed.  (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

The maximum speed along the stretch of track, known as Point Defiance Bypass, is 79 mph, according to information about the project posted online by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Wendy Simmons told Q13 Fox she arrived shortly after the derailment as people were helping the injured.

“First responders actually climbed up into the dangling cars to get people out,” Simmons said. “People were pulling first aid kits out of their cars — putting jackets on people.”

The National Transportation Safety Board said a “go-team” is departing from Washington, D.C., to investigate Monday’s derailment. The Federal Railroad Administration also tweeted it has investigators en route to the scene.

FBI officials in Seattle are also on scene for additional support, as officials told Fox News that local law enforcement are the “primary responding entities.”

The Washington State Department of Transportation said that drivers should expect long delays and avoid the area. Southbound Interstate 5 near DuPont was closed shortly after the derailment after traffic backed up for miles.

Amtrak President and co-CEO Richard Anderson said that Amtrak employees “are deeply saddened by all that has happened today. We will do everything in our power to support our passengers and crew and their families.”

Washington Sen. Patty Murray tweeted she was “heartbroken by the news.”

Monday was the first day of schedule changes to include two new round trips between Seattle and Portland, according to the Amtrak website. Amtrak train 501 is part of the new route running between Portland and Seattle daily. The Washington Department of Transportation spent $180.7 million project on passenger train improvement project, which sped up service by removing passenger trains from a route along Puget Sound that’s bogged down by curves, single-track tunnels and freight traffic.

Monday’s accident came just two weeks after Lakewood mayor Don Anderson made a chilling comment saying it was only a matter of time a deadly derailment will occur, according to KOMO News.

He advocated for grade separations to protect people from trains.

“Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens,” Anderson said at the time.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 5, which see about 60,000 vehicles per day, are expected to be closed for “an extended period,” according to the WSDOT.

The derailment was Amtrak’s 26th within the U.S. since 2014, and the fourth in the state of Washington since 2014.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and Shira Bush and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Tiffany Gaines
Tiffany Gaines

Entertainment Industry Executive, Tiffany Gaines, currently serving as owner and founder of Shared Success Global, has been building a name for herself as a woman of integrity and professionalism for more than a decade. Currently wearing several hats in both the entertainment and hotel industries, she has soon preserved the highest levels of professional and personal ethics by maintaining a long-term stability in providing access to a network spectrum of quality entertainment sources to both sides of the business. With a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with an emphasis on Law and Society, she has proved herself not only as one with intelligence and skill, but also a serious determined business woman and entrepreneur. She currently represents a select few of international clientele in both Japan and China for those seeking to raise or re-position their public profile in the Entertainment Industry. She’s at present the Executive Board of Director for Forever Young Legacy, LTD, as well as the Business Manager for Curtis Young, Son of the Iconic Dr Dre, former drug kingpin, now currently Amazon’s best seller/Author and Emmy Nominated Freeway Rick Ross serving as a Prison Reform Activist, Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist, Billboard charting, national recording artist and designer Christine Storm, National Recording artist Boneface of Rick Ross Music Group and Pomona Drey formerly of Doggy Style Records/Pimp On Entertainment. In addition to management, she is the CEO of LRT Entertainment, Owner and Founder of SS (Shared Success) Music Group/Blasia’s Entertainment LLC (A global online marketing agency/distribution company currently marketing and distributing for close to 4,000 artists worldwideserving as a DBA under Shared Success Global Inc.), Label Manager for Rick Ross Music Group, Chief Operations Officer for VP Churchill Inc., Vice President of the Network “Timeless” as well as the Creative Director & Producer for both Series “Timeless” and “iGobalTV" on Xperienc On-Demand, the streaming Tv Network. Xperienc On Demand has licensing on almost every major streaming app and platform of which shows aired broadcast to over 270 Million household viewers in the US alone (accessible all over the world) on all Samsung, LG and Vizeo smart TVs and smart devices, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Direct to Netflix, AndroidTV, Youtube TV, Chromecast, Smart TV, Roku, Pluto, Opera TV, Google Play, iTunes, Sony Playstation, Xbox and that is only the tip of the iceberg. The platform offers product placement and purchase technology, LIVE pay per view options, as well as global distribution for all musical projects. XOD is the television channel, network and the record company with distribution for both film and music. Gaines is also known as a contributor. endorser and philanthropist who finds favor in serving as the Vice President of the Foundation/Director of Media Relations for the National Prostate Awareness Association founded by the honorable former US Ambassador, Dr James Hall, one of the most accomplished individuals in the world. In addition to her extensive resume, she is also a partner and International Hotel Broker for the National Hotels Association (A global network offering hotels at discounted wholesale rates holding contracts with over 850,000 hotels worldwide) servicing her entire platform of Artists, Producers, CEO’s, Label partners, promoters, booking agencies and corporate companies saving her clients up to 75% off retail prices online. Over the years, she has held many positions of the entertainment industry from both major to independent, vastly moving around this circle on various prestigious and exclusive levels. She’s an advocate speaker for the youth, supporter of charitable non-profit organizations and meaningful causes and above all gives every bit of the credit of her works to the Most-High.

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