In a horrifying scene Monday morning, an Amtrak train in Washington state derailed and broke away from the overpass. Outlets are describing multiple casualties, including both injuries and deaths, although specifics are not yet known. In a statement, Amtrak described the incident as such — "Emergency crews are on the scene and the Amtrak Management is responding. Some injuries are reported. Service between Seattle and Portland is suspended for the time being."
Little is known about what could have caused the derailment. According to CBS News, however, the route was part of the new Amtrak Cascades line, operating from Seattle, Washington, to Portland, Oregon. This new service had been broadcast as a high-speed journey, and was intended to reduce travel time and traffic in the are. The train left just 8 a.m. Monday, and derailed in DuPont, Washington, a town located between Tacoma and Olympia.
According to photos taken by onlookers at the scene, including one tweeted out by Amtrak with a warning to avoid the area, the train cars hit cars that were traveling on the overpasses.
The full statement from Amtrak is as such:
Amtrak is aware of an incident with Train 501, Cascades service from Seattle to Portland. Emergency services are on the scene and Amtrak management is responding. Some injuries are reported.
Amtrak service south of Seattle is temporarily suspended. Service from Seattle to points north and east is continuing to operate.
Amtrak regrets any inconvenience. This information is correct as of the above time and date. Information is subject to change as conditions warrant.
According to a tweet from reporter Alex Rozier of Seattle's KING-TV, all passengers aboard the train were given a promotional brochure about the new journey prior to the train's depature.
Rozier had been on the train that derailed; however, he had left the train before it derailed over the interstate.
In a follow-up statement released on Twitter, Amtrak wrote:
Amtrak Cascades Train 501, operating from Seattle and Portland, derailed south of Tacoma, Wash. There were approximately 78 passengers and five crew members on board. Initial reports are that some injuries are reported to passengers and crew, and taken to local medical facilities for treatment.
Individuals with questions about their friends and family on this train should call (800) 523-9101. Local emergency responders are on the scene.