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An Amtrak train derailed on an overpass near Tacoma, Washington, early Monday morning, KIRO 7 reported. AP News reported as of press time that at least six train passengers died and more than 70 people were sent to the hospital.
KIRO 7 posted close-up photos of the derailment to Twitter, showing the two train cars that were left dangling on the highway below the overpass. There were reportedly 78 passengers and five crew members on board the train when it wrecked.
#BREAKING: An up-close photo of the trail derailment near Lacey. Sheriff’s office confirms fatalities, people trapped. 70 people were on board, according to WSDOT.— KIRO 7 (@KIRO7Seattle) December 18, 2017
Real-time updates: https://t.co/V1JMGude8h pic.twitter.com/jxYP2eKLqZ
At least 70 people were sent to St Joseph Hospital, according to CHI Franciscan Health. 20 were sent to the Madigan Army Medical Center emergency center. [Real-time updates: https://t.co/o7T1s3BWrN ] pic.twitter.com/D4DMSoNXzt— KIRO 7 (@KIRO7Seattle) December 18, 2017
The Washington Department of Transportation first reported the derailment with a tweet at 9:45am CT on Monday. The department said all southbound lanes on Interstate 5 in Pierce County were closed “for an extended period of time” and advised motorists to avoid the area.
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 Traffic (@wsdot_tacoma) December 18, 2017
We're seeing LONG delays on both SB & NB I-5 near DuPont due to #I5MountsTrain. SB I-5 will remain closed for an extended period of time. Delay travel or plan for long delays. pic.twitter.com/n0A3hEvfo7— WSDOT Tacoma Traffic (@wsdot_tacoma) December 18, 2017
CBS News reported the Amtrak train No. 501 had “fairly new train cars… engineered to be crash resistant.” The cause of the derailment is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
“Those are fairly new train cars, they have been engineered to be crash resistant,” @KrisVanCleave reports of Amtrak #501 that derailed in Washington state this morning https://t.co/2CyKkppdRE pic.twitter.com/9z7E0hOFIk— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 18, 2017
One Twitter user had snapped photos of the train as it was leaving the station Monday morning.
A passenger aboard the train, Chris Karnes, told CBS News that the moments before the wreck, “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,” Karnes said. “People were screaming.”
President Donald Trump tweeted that the accident “shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly.” He also offered thoughts and prayers to the victims.
Follow KIRO 7 on Twitter for live updates.
H/T CBS News
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.