Photo Cred: USA Today
What happened: An Amtrak passenger train derailed and is now dangling onto Interstate 5 in Pierce County, Washington.
The victims: Sheriff’s office says there are multiple fatalities; 77 people have been taken to local hospitals.
Multiple people were killed and 77 people have been taken to local hospitals after an Amtrak train derailed from a highway overpass in Washington State on Monday morning, according to local authorities. CHI Franciscan Health, a regional hospital network, said in a statement that 77 people were transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties. Four were classified “level red,” reflecting the most severe injuries.
At least one train car was left leaning against the overpass while another had flipped over on Interstate 5 below, according to photographs and local authorities. Firefighters were called around 7:30 a.m. local time. The derailment happened on a railroad overpass above Interstate 5, which is the major north-south route, he said.
“When we got to the scene it was obvious that there were some fatalities and there were a lot of injuries,” Detective Ed Troyer, a spokesman with the sheriff’s office in Pierce County, Wash., told local television reporters.
Cars and trucks on the highway were struck by the train, but fatalities were limited to those aboard, Detective Troyer said. The train, No. 501, was carrying about 78 passengers and five crew members, according to Amtrak.
Steve Crimmins, battalion chief with Lacey Fire District 3, said in a telephone interview that there were “multiple” critically injured patients. Medics were still evaluating the injured and transporting patients, he said.
Amtrak said the train, part of its Cascades route, was headed south from Seattle to Portland. The accident happened about 15 miles east of Olympia, Wash., and service was suspended south of Seattle.
Amtrak president: “We are deeply saddened by all that has happened”
Amtrak President and Co-CEO Richard Anderson said they will “do everything” in their power to support passengers, crew members and their families in today’s train derailment.
Read Anderson’s statement below:
From Amtrak President and co-CEO Richard Anderson regarding train 501:
“On behalf of everyone at Amtrak, we 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.”
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