TEHRAN (Tasnim) – At least three people were killed and more than 100 injured when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Washington State, DuPont Fire Chief Larry Creekmore said Monday night.
The Amtrak Cascades 501 was making its first trip on a new service route when the train ran off the track near DuPont, spilling 13 cars off an Interstate 5 overpass onto rush hour traffic below, authorities said.
All the deaths were contained to the train, said Ed Troyer, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
More than 100 were transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties, Creekmore said. Four of them suffered serious injuries, said Cary Evans, spokesman for CHI Franciscan Health, CNN reported.
Amtrak President & Co-CEO Richard Anderson said “Positive Train Control” was not activated on the tracks when the derailment happened. PTC is a technology that automatically slows down, and eventually stops, a train if it senses it is going too fast.
Thirteen cars jumped the track. The train had 14 cars, including two engines, said Brook Bova of the Washington State Patrol.
A passenger on the train says his car derailed and everyone “catapulted” into the seat in front of them.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent a 20-member team to investigate.
Photos from the scene show at least one train car on the road, with another dangling over it.
The crash happened about 7:40 a.m. in DuPont, about 20 miles south of Tacoma, near the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Apparently, the train came out of a curve and ran off the track while crossing or approaching an open trestle over I-5. The following rail cars derailed in a jumble on both sides of the track, with some falling to the highway and landing on vehicles and one rail car dangling precariously over the highway.
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