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An Amtrak passenger train derailed near the Washington State town of DuPont, sending rail cars plunging onto a busy interstate during the morning rush hour and resulting in injuries and deaths. Amtrak said in a tweet is it aware of the incident, which involves train No. 501 that was southbound from Seattle heading for Portland, Oregon. The accident occurred near DuPont, Washington, roughly 50 miles south of Seattle. 1. Derailment on inaugural day The derailment occurred on the first day Amtrak trains began using the new inland route between the Washington cities of Tacoma and Olympia, part of a $181 million project to cut travel time, according to an October news release from the state’s transportation department and Amtrak. The rerouting takes trains along I-5, enabling them to reach speeds of 79 miles per hour (127 km per hour). Monday’s southbound Seattle-to-Portland train, whose scheduled departure time was 6 a.m. (1400 GMT), was the first to take the new route, which uses tracks owned by a commuter line. It was not immediately clear whether the derailment was connected to the new route. 2. At least 6 dead, 100 injured At least six people were killed after an Amtrak train derailed and fell off a bridge in southwest of Seattle on Monday and more than 100 others transported to hospitals. According to the Guardian, the death toll is expected to rise as several others were injured in the accident. Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer was quoted as saying that there were fatalities on the train and that motorists had been injured. 3. Amtrak tweeted the incident Soon after the crash, Amtrak took to Twitter to inform people that they were aware of the derailment. "We are aware of an incident involving Amtrak train 501. We will update with additional details as they become available," Amtrak tweeted. We are aware of an incident involving Amtrak train 501. We will update with additional details as they become available. Our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt prayers are with the victims of the train derailment in Washington State. We are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with local authorities... pic.twitter.com/Gyf5BdVm4G
We are aware of an incident involving Amtrak train 501. We will update with additional details as they become available.— Amtrak (@Amtrak) December 18, 2017
Our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt prayers are with the victims of the train derailment in Washington State. We are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with local authorities... pic.twitter.com/Gyf5BdVm4G— Donald J.
Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2017
6. Service from Seattle continues Amtrak said that service from Seattle to points in north and east continue to operate. It also said that Amtrak Cascades train 504 and 509 are cancelled. No alternate transportation will be available. 7. Photos of the incident captured Photographs posted online from the scene showed multiple cars had derailed from the train. At least two dropped onto the roadway below, a busy highway that connects Olympia to the busy Seattle metro area just to the north.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2017
8. Curve where Amtrak train derailed in Washington has speed limit of 30 mph The speed limit at the curve where the train crosses Interstate 5 is 30 miles per hour, said state transportation department spokeswoman Barbara LaBoe, while the speed limit on most of the track is 79 mph. The Seattle Times reported that the train was supposed to slow dramatically before entering the curve where the crash occurred. 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. He said the track appeared relatively undisturbed, so it seemed unlikely that something knocked the train off the track, and he noted that it appeared the train drove in a straight line, missing the turn. 9. Amtrak Derailments in the US Federal Railroad Administration statistics show that in recent years Amtrak has had an average of about two derailments a month, accounting for about one-quarter of all the accidents it reports. Most derailments happen at low speeds on yard and station tracks, though, and they have rarely caused more than minor injuries. According to NYT, Last year, after an Amtrak train struck a backhoe and killed two track maintenance workers in Chester, Pa., the National Transportation Safety Board criticized Amtrak for having a weak safety culture. Amtrak responded that it had been a “safe and reliable transporter of more than 30 million passengers” and that it had a strong safety record. But Amtrak added that “we need to assess how we can get better.” 10. Trump wanted to cut funding to Amtrak In May, Trump released his transportation budget, which dramatically slashed federal aid to Amtrak by 13 per cent. Amtrak covered 94 per cent of its costs in 2016 with ticket sales but relies on government funding for capital investment and repairs. It currently operates on an annual budget of $18.6 billion.
Photos from scene of amtrak passenger train derailment pic.twitter.com/gd09MzLCC6— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) December 18, 2017