Six dead, scores injured in Amtrak horror crash

Brandon Parsons
December 19, 2017

Several people have been killed and at least 20 others were taken to hospital after a passenger train in the United States derailed about 40 miles south of Seattle, sending a number of carriages plunging on to a major highway.

The train was making its first trip on a new route from Seattle in 6:00 a.m.to Portland about 3 hours later, the Associated Press said.

A US 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.

"No fatalities on the roadway".

"We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve", passenger Chris Karnes told local CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV.

Seventy-eight passengers and five crew members were aboard when the train derailed just before 8am, Amtrak said.

"The next thing we know, we're being slammed into the front of our seats, windows are breaking, we stop, and there's water gushing out of the train".

"There was one person who was injured in our vehicle, and I was sent to go find help for them".

"The tracks for this line were supposed to be upgraded to be able to handle higher speeds", he continued.

Karnes said that people had escaped the wreckage by kicking out windows. The trains were expected to reach speeds of 79 miles (127 kilometers) per hour through the densely populated area with the improved systems and track.

"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", he told local outlet KOMO news earlier in December.

The state's Department of Transportation says it does not know when that stretch of I-5 will reopen.

The crash attracted national media attention, with US President Donald Trump acknowledging the tragedy in a tweet.

The new Siemens Charger locomotives were equipped with "positive train control" safety systems, created to automatically stop the train in risky situations and mandated for trains around the country.

All southbound lanes of Interstate 5 were closed south of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and motorists were being warned to avoid the area.

At the time, analysts said positive train control technology could have prevented the accident.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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