An Amtrak passenger train derailed from its track on its inaugural trip this morning on a new service route near Dupont, Washington killing several people and injuring others.
The train was headed south to Portland, Oregon when it derailed while crossing a bridge over Interstate 5 near DuPont, Washington around 7:40 a.m. on Monday and spilled some of its cars onto the highway below. Authorities confirmed that six people were killed. The death toll is expected to rise.
Seventy-eight passengers and five crew members were aboard when the train moving at more than 80 mph derailed off course, about 40 miles south of Seattle on a route that had raised safety concerns.
The deaths “are all contained to the train,” said Ed Troyer, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “It’s pretty horrific.” Troyer said several vehicles on Interstate 5 were struck by falling train cars and multiple motorists were injured, but luckily none killed. Police are yet to state an official death count, but the Seattle Times says it’s at least six. Seventy seven were hospitalized.
An official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Associated Press that preliminary signs shows that Train 501 may have struck something before going off the track.
Family of victims were instructed not to come to the accident scene, but were asked to report to the DuPont City Hall to be reunited with their loved ones.
Meanwhile, President Trump has used the deadly derailment to call for more infrastructure spending. In a tweet sent about three hours after the accident, Trump said the wreck shows “more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly.”
Then ten minutes after his initial tweet that he posted another tweet expressing his sympathies for those who were killed in the accident.