Tragedy struck early Monday morning as an Amtrack train on it’s inaugural run derailed on a highway overpass in Washington State, crashing to the I-5 highway below. Buzzfeed News is currently reporting there are multiple injuries and fatalities, with dramatic photos showing the partially derailed train at rest on the road below. Multiple train cars can be seen dangling precariously off the highway overpass as emergency vehicles are on the scene.
“There have been multiple casualties as a result of the Amtrak derailment near Tacoma, Washington,” Pierce County spokesman Ed Troyer said of the 7:40 a.m. incident. “The casualties include multiple injuries and fatalities.”
The train was traveling on its first trip along the Amtrack Cascades High Speed route when something went wrong on an overpass near Tacoma Washington. Local Sheriffs are reporting that multiple vehicles were also struck by the train as it fell onto the highway below the bridge, and while there were injuries, they do not believe there are any fatalities involving affected motorists at this time.
The train was just leaving the new Tacoma Station when the derailment happened at approximately 7:30 AM with an estimated 78 passengers and 4 crew members aboard according to Amtrack. Emergency crews responded to the scene quickly with mass casualty units and local hospitals alerted and ready. While it is too early to know the cause of the crash, the NTSB will be investigating.
Amtrack has had a fatal train derailment or collisions the last 3 years consecutively. With 2 fatalities in 2016, and 8 in 2015, both incidents occurring in Pennsylvania. Prior to those incidents however Amtrack went from 1999 until 2015 without a single fatality as a result of a train accident.
Service on Amtrack is suspended south of Seattle at this time, and I-5 is expected to be closed at the site of the accident for a significant period of time, with authorities saying they will alert motorists when the road has reopened and is safe to travel.