At least 3 dead in Amtrak derailment in Washington state, official says

DuPont, Washington (CNN) At least three people were killed and much more than 100 injured when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Wa state, DuPont Fire Chief Lewis Creekmore said Monday night.

All the fatalities were contained to the train, mentioned Ed Troyer, the Pierce Region Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Latest developments:

— More than a hundred were transported to hospitals within Pierce and Thurston counties, Creekmore said. Four of them suffered severe injuries, said Cary Evans, speaker for CHI Franciscan Health.

— Amtrak President & Co-CEO Richard Anderson said “Positive Train Control” had not been activated on the tracks when the derailment happened. PTC is a technology that will automatically slows down, and eventually stops, the train if it senses it is heading too fast.
— Thirteen cars jumped the monitor. The train had 14 vehicles, including two engines, said Stream Bova of the Washington State Patrol.
— The passenger on the train says their car derailed and everyone “catapulted” into the seat in front of them.
— The Nationwide Transportation Safety Board sent the 20-member team to investigate.
— Photos from the picture show at least one train car on the highway, with another dangling over it.

Injured taken to private hospitals

The particular crash happened about 7: forty a. m. in DuPont, regarding 20 miles south of Tacoma, near the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Apparently, the particular train came out of a curve plus ran off the track while bridging or approaching an open trestle more than I-5. The following rail cars derailed in a jumble on both sides from the track, with some falling to the road and landing on vehicles and another rail car dangling precariously within the highway.
A number of motorists in vehicles that were hit by the fallen train cars experienced injuries, but there were no deaths among people in those automobiles, the sheriff’s office said. 5 cars and two semi-trucks had been involved in the crash, Bova said.
The southbound teach was carrying 77 passengers plus seven crew members, said Wa State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova at a news conference. Monday was your first day of the Amtrak Cascades 501 service between Seattle plus Portland, Amtrak said.

The NTSB plus local authorities have not said what triggered the crash, but questions had been quickly raised about the train’s acceleration as it hit a curve.
Most of the route has been graded for a maximum speed associated with 79 mph; the speed limit within the curve where the crash occurred is definitely 30 mph, said Rachelle Cunningham with Sound Transit. Cunningham stated she did not know how fast the particular train was traveling when it derailed, and the NTSB has not released information regarding the speed.
Russ Quimby, a former NTSB safety detective, and CNN analyst Mary Schiavo, former Department of Transportation inspector general, said an early look signifies speed might have been an issue.
In a conference call along with reporters, Amtrak President and Co-CEO Richard Anderson said “Positive Teach Control” was not activated on the paths at the time of the derailment. Positive Teach Control is a technology that instantly slows down, and eventually stops, a teach if it senses the train is certainly going too fast and could derail or enter an accident.
Anderson would not answer CNN’s queries regarding the speed of the train or maybe the crew’s tenure at Amtrak.
The train has been running on track previously used for periodic freight and military transport, the particular Washington Department of Transportation stated in a news release. WDOT said the particular track had undergone millions of dollars associated with federally funded improvements and several weeks of inspection and testing.

‘We catapulted into the seats in front of us’

    Hear the train conductor’s 911 call

Emergency radio transmissions involving the train conductor and the dispatcher had been frantic and dramatic:
Dispatcher: Hey guys, so what happened?
AMTRAK 501: Uh, we were coming around the corner to consider the bridge over I-5 generally there, right north into Nisqually and went on the ground.
Dispatcher:… Is everybody OK?
AMTRAK 501: I am just still figuring that out. All of us got cars everywhere and lower onto the highway.
Chris Karnes, a traveler on the train, is chairman from the Pierce Transit Community Transportation Advisory Group. He said he boarded the train between Seattle plus Tacoma and took a chair on the third or fourth vehicle.
Karnes said the train was relocating at a “pretty good pace” — roughly 70 to 80 with, judging from the fact the teach was passing cars on the highway — when it derailed.

“We felt a little bit of a fix and then at a certain point we’re able to hear crumpling of the train vehicle, and we were catapulted into the chairs in front of us, ” he mentioned.
This appeared most of the passengers in Karnes’ car fared well, with the exception of a good elderly man who banged their head on the bulkhead, he stated.
Karnes’ car derailed — only the back locomotive remained on the tracks — and passengers kicked out the window and climbed down a good embankment to summon help, this individual said.
He did not know what caused the particular derailment but said the teach had previously taken tighter figure at the same pace without any issues.
Motorist Danae Orlob said there was a semi plus a crushed truck underneath the train vehicles.
“We emerged around the corner and it had to have just occurred… there were no police there however. There was one link of the teach off to one side and the some other on the other side of the freeway. There were smashed cars underneath. There was an crazy amount of fire trucks and ambulances heading towards us. ”
All southbound lane of the interstate were closed because of the derailment, and the sight stunned drivers heading to work.
“I was traveling to function this morning along I-5 and we reached a sudden stop, ” Greg Mukai told CNN by phone. “We all tried to stop quickly to prevent running into each other, to be honest. After we all came to a stop I was capable of look up and see, unfortunately, this frightening thing of… a train dangling off of the overpass. Lots of military workers and people ran to try to help the very best they could. ”

All rail cars researched

Hrs after the early morning crash, first responders remained on site as the analysis was getting underway.
Lights and transportable toilets were being moved to the particular scene and police were maintaining a wide cordon from the crash web site. News helicopters and remotely operated drones circled over the crumpled remains.
Western Pierce County Fire and Save Battalion Chief Jay Sumerlin stated all the rail cars had been researched Monday night — a dangerous operation because of the position of the derailed train.
“It took a lot of extrication tools, inch he said. “They were making use of jaws of life, they were making use of air chisels, different forms of saws to be able to get into some of the cars to obtain access to people to get them out. A few of the rescues were done by ladders. It was just a difficult place to become. ”
Hazmat teams were still securing just as much as 350 gallons of spilled diesel powered fuel, he said.
A makeshift emergency functions center was set up at a close by Eagle Pride Golf Course, where the NTSB and other federal and state government bodies were coordinating the recovery plus investigation into the crash.
Only the rear unpowered train locomotive, one of 14 cars on Amtrak Cascades 501, remained on the paths, positioned on a sharp curve at the end of the straight path of track.

1st day of new service route

According to an internet schedule, the 501 train links “18 cities along the I-5 hallway including Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, BC, and Eugene, Oregon. ”
The train provider is jointly owned by the Wa and Oregon departments of transport, although Amtrak contracts to operate the particular service for the two states.
The American Recuperation and Reinvestment Act of this year set aside $800 million for the Cascades High Speed Rail Capital Program between Seattle and Portland, the particular Washington Department of Transportation mentioned . The last portion of the Cascades program included $180 million for that area where the crash occurred, the fourteen. 5-mile Point Defiance Bypass . That bypass rerouted passenger teaches from a waterfront line to a smaller line that ran along I-5. Monday was the first day locomotives ran along that route.
Previously, the songs where the derailment occurred were possessed by BNSF and were useful for occasional freight and military transportation, said the Washington State Section of Transportation. The tracks are actually owned by Sound Transit, which usually managed the track upgrade within preparation for commuter service, the discharge said.

When asked if there were any kind of known issues or blockages towards the track, Kimberly Reason, a older public information officer with Sound Transportation, said, “We are working with the Mutual Command Center on scene to receive info from the incident investigation; no result in has been reported at this juncture within the investigation. ”
Amtrak service south of Seattle was temporarily suspended. Service through Seattle to points north plus east was continuing to operate, Amtrak said. Amtrak Cascades trains 504 and 509 were canceled, the particular Amtrak spokesperson said.

NTSB Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr said the first members from the investigative team were expected to get to Washington state on Monday mid-day.

Chief executive briefed on the accident

President Trump submitted a tweet about what he the country’s crumbling infrastructure.
“The train accident that will just occurred in DuPont, CALIFORNIA shows more than ever why our quickly to be submitted infrastructure plan should be approved quickly. Seven trillion bucks spent in the Middle East while the roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for lengthy! ”
10 minutes later, the President resolved the victims.
“My thoughts and prayers are usually with everyone involved in the train incident in DuPont, Washington. Thank you for all of our wonderful First Responders that are on the scene. We are currently checking here at the White House. inch
Washington california’s congressional delegation also shared their particular condolences on Twitter.
Washington Gov. Jay declared a state of emergency plus asked motorists to avoid traveling upon Interstate 5 while the Washington Division of Transportation works on alternate paths.