Three people are confirmed dead in an Amtrak train derailment that occurred in Washington State early this morning (December 18). Another 75 were injured, according to a New York Times report.
Both of the train’s engine cars plus all 12 passenger cars jumped the tracks in the accident.
“On behalf of everyone at Amtrak, we are deeply saddened by all that has happened today,” Amtrak co-CEO Richard Anderson said in a written statement. “We will do everything in our power to support our passengers and crew and their families.”
There were 78 passengers plus five crew members on board the train, according to another Amtrak update.
The train was part of Amtrak’s Cascade service and numbered 501. It was travelling from Seattle to Portland. It derailed at approximately 7:30 a.m., just south of DuPont, about two hours’ drive from Seattle.
It jumped the tracks as it was travelling over a bridge that crosses the I-5 highway. Train cars spilled off the bridge and down onto the road below.
Some of those 75 people injured were motorists who were travelling on the highway when the train derailed. The three fatalities are all people who were riding on the train.
According to NBC News, some passengers have said they believed the train was travelling at a speed between 70 and 80 miles per hour when it crashed.
The derailment occurred on a new Amtrak route for which today was the first time that a train carried commercial passengers.
Amtrak’s Cascade service usually runs from Vancouver, B.C., to Portland, Oregon. But this morning the 501 train involved in the accident began its journey in Seattle.
Amtrak has said that anyone with questions about a friend or family member who was on board the train can call 1-800-523-9101 for information.