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Amtrak train derails in Washington state on Interstate 5; at least 3 dead

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NTSB: too early to know many details of the derailment

The NTSB has the foot on the Amtrak train derailed in Washington.

A first ride on a new rule, meant to increase the speed of the train in Washington state deadly Monday after an Amtrak train with more than 80 people derailed outside of Tacoma — causing several train cars to tumble from a motorway viaduct and killing at least three people, officials said.

At least 100 people were taken to nearby hospitals, the officials said. At least two people are in critical condition, while 11 other people were seriously injured, hospital officials told The Associated Press. At least one person was taken in the surgery.

An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle early Monday, causing injuries and casualties,” said the officials.

(Washington State Patrol Trooper Brooke Bova)

Washington State Patrol Public Information Officer Brooke Bova told reporters Monday evening that three people have been confirmed dead. The Associated Press initially reported six people were dead, citing a U.S. government official.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency after the Amtrak train 501 derailed around 7:30 a.m. along Interstate 5, as well as the exit of the new Tacoma station. A U.S. government official told The Associated Press the death toll is expected to rise and the track obstruction is being investigated as a possible cause of the derailment.

The train was on a trip to the south of Seattle when it derailed. Washington State Trooper Brooke Bova said on 12 train cars and two engines jumped the tracks. Thirteen cars in total were derailed.

President Trump tweeted Monday afternoon: “The train accident that just happened in DuPont, WA shows more than ever the reason why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan should be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East, while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington. Thank you to all our wonderful First Responders on the scene. We are currently monitoring here at the White House.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2017

“My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington. Thank you to all our wonderful First Responders on the scene. We are currently monitoring here at the White House,” Trump said in a follow-up tweet.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington. Thank you to all our wonderful First Responders on the scene. We are currently monitoring here at the White House.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2017

The police said earlier, several cars were hit by the Amtrak train cars, injuring several drivers on the highway. No motorists’ deaths have been reported, according to Pierce County officials.

Amtrak said 77 passengers and seven crew members on board the train, a part of the “Cascades” service from Seattle to Portland, Ore. Receiving reports of the crew and passengers have been injured were brought to the hospital. Service for two Amtrak Cascades trains were cancelled.

People with questions about their friends and family on the train 501 to call 800-523-9101

— Amtrak (@Amtrak) On December 18, 2017

A freeway camera showed at least one train car fell on the road, causing a traffic jam. Photos tweeted by Public Information Officer Bova showed a detached and destroyed on the ground. Another car was dangling from the overpass.

Chris Karnes, who was on the train three or four cars back from the front — told The Associated Press: “I don’t know what I hit. I’m not sure what happened.”

Bova told Fox News’ “Happening Now” that people are advised to avoid Interstate 5 and that the clearing of the area will be a “all day” process.

Kaines, the chairman of Pierce Transit’s advisory board, said on Twitter, “The train is derailed. Emergency responders are on the scene. Massive damage. People are being hurt.” He said that the train appeared to have hit a truck, adding that the car was destroyed.”

The train was going to 81.1 mph moments before the derailment, according to transitdocs.com a website that maps Amtrak train locations and speeds using data of the railroad train tracker app.

Washington State Trooper Brooke Bova said on 12 train cars and two engines jumped the tracks and thirteen cars were totally derailed.

(AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

The maximum speed on the stretch of track, known as the Point Defiance Bypass is 79 km / h, according to information about the project posted online by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Wendy Simmons told Q13 Fox they came shortly after the derailment, people were helping the wounded.

“The first reaction actually climbed up the dangling cars to get people out,” Simmons said. “People were pulling of first aid kits from their cars — put jackets on people.”

The National Transportation Safety Board, said a “go-team” is a departure from Washington, D. C., to investigate Monday’s derailment. The Federal Railroad Administration also tweeted the researchers on the way to the scene.

FBI officials in Seattle are also on the scene for additional support, as officials told Fox News that the local police are the primary responding entities.”

The Washington State Department of Transportation said drivers should expect long delays and avoid the area. Southbound Interstate 5 in the vicinity of DuPont was closed shortly after the derailment after the traffic backed up for miles.

Of Amtrak President and co-CEO Richard Anderson on train 501:
“On behalf of everyone at Amtrak, we are deeply saddened by everything that has happened today. We will do everything in our power to support our passengers and crew and their families.”

— Amtrak (@Amtrak) On December 18, 2017

Amtrak President and co-CEO Richard Anderson said that Amtrak employees “are deeply saddened by everything that has happened today. We will do everything in our power to support our passengers and crew and their families.”

A map showing the new route, where an Amtrak train derailed outside of Tacoma, Washington.

(Washington Department of Transportation).

Washington Sen. Patty Murray tweeted she was “heartbroken by the news.”

Monday was the first day of changes in the planning for two new round trips between Seattle and Portland, according to the Amtrak website. Amtrak train 501 is a part of the new route runs between Portland and Seattle on a daily basis. The Washington Department of Transportation spent $180.7 million project on passenger train improvement project, which accelerated service by the removal of passenger trains of a route along Puget Sound that get bogged down by the bends, single-track tunnels and freight transport.

Monday’s accident came just two weeks after Lakewood mayor Don Anderson made a chilling note to say it was only a matter of time before a deadly derailment will occur, according to KOMO News.

He advocated for the quality separations to protect people from trains.

“Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in safety improvements, or you can go back now and plead for the money to do it, because this project is not needed and a danger to our citizens,” Anderson said at the time.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 5, which is approximately 60,000 vehicles per day, shall be deemed to have been closed for “a long period”, according to the WSDOT.

The derailment was Amtrak’s 26 in the US since 2014, and the fourth is in the state of Washington since 2014.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and Shira Bush, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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