'Multiple' deaths as train derails over Washington state highway

Amtrak carriages fell onto the highway below during the train's first journey on a new track

At least six people where killed when an Amtrak train making the first run along a new route hurtled off an overpass onto a busy road south of the USA city of Seattle, authorities said.

The Amtrak train, with 82 passengers and crew, was on the first day of a new route in Washington State.

Passenger Chris Karnes told CBS News: "We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve".

'Next thing, we're being slammed into the front of our seats.' People kicked out windows to escape, he said. Authorities later added that several cars had been struck on Interstate 5 near the rail tracks, but that no fatalities of motorists had been reported.

"Something went very, very wrong and there are some questions we will demand to be answered", said Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) in a statement.

"There was one person who was injured in our auto, and I was sent to go find help for them".

A conductor in one of the two engines on the train placed the emergency call.

The National Transportation Safety Board, for its part, says it is opening an investigation into the incident and sending a team to the site Monday.

Pic @wspd1pio
Image The train came off the rail bridge over the I-5 highway. Pic @wspd1pio

"My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington", he tweeted.

Emergency crews respond to the scene of a train derailment in Washington state, December 18, 2017.

"We will do everything in our power to support our passengers and crew and their families", Anderson said.

The train was reportedly travelling at more than 80 miles per hour when it derailed.

"I shot this video on board the #Amtrak501 in the 6 o clock hour this morning", Alex Rozier said on Twitter. "Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens" Anderson said. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble!

But on the Washington train, the technology was only expected to be used next year when it is activated on the entire rail corridor, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

At the time, analysts said positive train control technology could have prevented the accident.

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