Train crash several dead, more than 100 injured in Washington

December 19, 2017 | By | Reply More

An Amtrak train traveling for the first time on a new high-speed route derailed in Washington state on Monday, killing several people and sending numerous cars flying off an overpass on to a busy highway.

train-crashA US official told the earlier in the day that at least six people died and that the number of fatalities could rise, though state officials only confirmed three deaths in an afternoon briefing.

The train was traveling south on a new high-speed rail route that had opened on Monday when it derailed around 7.30am. After the derailment, one of the carriages was left hanging off an overpass, resting on an overturned train car below, and 13 out of 14 cars left the track, officials said.

The derailment – which hit at least five vehicles below, but did not kill any motorists – occurred near Tacoma, roughly 40 miles (64km) south of Seattle.

There were 77 passengers and seven crew members on board, Amtrak said. More than 100 people were sent to local hospitals, with more than a dozen suffering critical or serious injuries and some needing surgery, authorities said. Officials did not share any information about the victims’ identities.

A few hours after the crash, Donald Trump cited it as a reason to support his infrastructure plan, tweeting: “The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”

Ten minutes later, he tweeted: “Thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved”.

Patricia Freeman, who was on the train when it crashed, said it appeared that her car had hit a tree, which stopped it from tumbling down.

“It felt like it was in slow motion,” she told the Guardian after she arrived at a center in DuPont that officials set up for survivors to reunite with loved ones. “I was trying to grab the bottoms of the table. I felt like a pinball in a pinball machine.”

Someone had broken a window in the car to rescue her and other passengers, she recalled, adding: “Everything was rubble. I’m amazed I’m not rubble.”

Freeman, who cut her lip during the crash, had been traveling back home to Portland, Oregon, after visiting family in Washington.

Aleksander Kristiansen, a 24-year-old passenger from Copenhagen, said he had been in the bathroom when the crash occurred and he had been thrown to the ground. When he stood up, the train was shaking, he said.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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