An Amtrak train making the first-ever run along a faster new route hurtled off an overpass Monday near Tacoma and spilled some of its cars onto the highway below, killing at least six people, authorities said. The death toll was expected to rise.
Seventy-eight passengers and five crew members were aboard when the train moving at more than 80 mph derailed about 40 miles south of Seattle on a route that had raised safety concerns.
An official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press that preliminary signs indicate that Train 501 may have struck something before going off the track. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said thirteen of the train’s fourteen cars derailed. One of them crashed onto freeway below, hitting five cars and two semi-trucks. Multiple motorists were injured, but none killed. Police have not given an official death count, but the Seattle Times says it’s at least six.