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Multiple people dead after Amtrak train derails in Washington state

Multiple people were killed Monday morning after an Amtrak train they were travelling on derailed in Washington state, according to local authorities.

At least one car was left dangling over a highway from an overpass with another flipped upside down on the road below, according to photographs posted by local authorities.

“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 in Pierce County, Washington, told local television reporters.

Cars and trucks on the highway were struck by the train, but the fatalities were limited to those aboard the train, 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, confirmed in a telephone interview there were fatalities but he did not know how many.

In addition, he said there were “multiple” critically injured patients. Medics were still evaluating the injured and transporting patients he said.

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.

Amtrak said the train was headed south from Seattle to Portland. The accident happened about 25 kilometres east of Olympia, Wash.

“Emergency services are on the scene and Amtrak management is responding,” it said in a statement.

Amtrak service was suspended south of Seattle.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was gathering information about the accident.

According to an Amtrak schedule, train No. 501 was scheduled to leave Seattle at 6 a.m. and arrive in Portland at about 9:20 a.m.

-The New York Times

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