High-speed Amtrak train ‘hit something’ before derailing on Washington State line – killing at least six and injuring 77

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.

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  • Watchman

    ISIS Xmas Celebration?

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  • simus1

    Reads like a typical 50/50 vote whoring -rent seekers – tax payers get to pay the bill exercise.

  • Hard Little Machine

    I hope it was illegal aliens leaving a car on the tracks.

  • Brett_McS

    These look to be Talgo (Spanish) trains, where there is a single axle between the carriages. Not the best arrangement for preventing derailments.

    Air springs are fitted to the tops of long tubes (which act as air reservoirs) providing a pendulum action, with the carriages being suspended from up near the roof. The tubes/reservoirs can be seen lying horizontal on the ground in one of the photos, but normally they sit vertically.

    • Uncommunist

      Good eye, although I know almost nothing about trains.

  • simus1

    The two section locomotive unit and its first passenger car got through the only curve of any tightness at all on that section of the route. Whether the engineer forgot to slow down smoothly enough or the train just fell apart for other reasons remain to be seen.