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Six dead, scores injured in Amtrak horror crash

19 December 2017

AT LEAST six people were reported to have died and 77 were injured yesterday when a train derailed on a bridge in the U.S., sending carriages crashing down on to a highway. Five patients have also been sent to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, two of whom are in critical condition.

Federal officials confirmed an Amtrak train was hurtling 50 miles per hour over the speed limit when it careened off an overpass south of Seattle, spilling cars onto the highway below and killing at least three people. I was pinballing around on the floor of the vehicle trying to catch a table leg or something. "I saw a little bit of both", Konzelman said. It was pitch black, and there was dust falling.

It remains unclear what caused the crash.

Amtrak have confirmed that positive train control (PTC), a system that automatically slows trains if they are going too fast, was not installed on the tracks. "People were screaming." Karnes said the tracks were supposed to have been upgraded to accommodate higher speeds.

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But the shift in route was met with deep skepticism from some residents in the area after it was announced.

Local sources reported that Don Anderson, mayor of the nearby town of Lakewood, opposed the new route because of what he called insufficient safety measures.

"I was just coming out of the bathroom when the accident happened". A website that monitors locations and speeds of Amtrak trains, transitdocs.com, reported that the train was going about 81 miles per hour shortly before the derailment, The Associated Press reported.

For now, authorities are asking onlookers to stay away from the scene while first responders work.

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The Amtrak Cascades service that runs from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Eugene, Oregon, is jointly owned by the Washington and Oregon transportation departments. Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency due to "loss of life, injuries and damage to infrastructure".

Interstate 5 is the West Coast's major north-south highway, running between the US-Mexican border in San Diego, California, and the border with Canada in Washington. "They're asking all drivers that can stay home to not drive at this time near this incident, as there are very few alternative routes".

A statement from the state transportation department said the track had undergone "weeks of inspection and testing" before Monday's launch.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump said: "My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Wash". "Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble!"

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Russell Quimby, a consultant who was previously an investigator-in-charge for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said it appeared to him that the derailment was caused by speed.

Six dead, scores injured in Amtrak horror crash