Please pray for all involved in this horrible accident…
CBS News – An Amtrak train has derailed on an overpass in Washington, authorities said Monday. At this time, all lanes of traffic remain blocked on Interstate 5.
The Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted a photo of the derailment, urging motorists to avoid the area.
CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV reports first responders are treating the derailment as a mass casualty incident. Authorities have not yet provided details on injuries.
All SB lanes of I-5 blocked near Mounts Road in Pierce County due to derailed train car. Avoid area! pic.twitter.com/SBH7dCc6yg
— WSDOT Tacoma (@wsdot_tacoma) December 18, 2017
Here’s a LIVE video of the scene:
— ARnews 1936 (@ARnews1936) December 18, 2017
Thurston County Sheriff Department warned motorists of a “massive involvement” involving a train derailment:
Please be advised of a massive incident involving a train derailing on the Mounts Rd overpass on I5. The train is currently blocking I5. Please avoid this area and Nisqually Valley. Be patient with traffic and emergency vehicles in the area. WSP is investigating this incident. pic.twitter.com/lFrXPQDSA1
— Thurston Co. Sheriff (@ThurstonSheriff) December 18, 2017
Amtrak train 501, which departed shortly before 8 a.m. in Tacoma, was part of a service that launched Monday morning. The service was supposed to be rated for a maximum speed of 79 mph for the section where it derailed in DuPont, according to passenger Chris Karnes.
Injuries and casualties are being reported by WWMT-TV News:
— WWMT-TV (@wwmtnews) December 18, 2017
Karnes, who was on board the train when it derailed, said at least seven cars derailed from the tracks. The emergency doors were not functioning correctly, which forced passengers to kick out train windows to exit.
“We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve,” Karnes said. “All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill. The next thing we know, we’re being slammed into the front of our seats, windows are breaking, we stop, and there’s water gushing out of the train. People were screaming.”
“The tracks for this line were supposed to be upgraded to be able to handle higher speeds,” he continued. “I’m not sure what happened at this juncture.”
The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.