'Six die' as USA train crashes off bridge

Pic @wspd1pio

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

Authorities have not yet specified the number of injuries and fatalities.

A track chart prepared by the Washington State Department of Transportation shows the maximum speed drops from 79 miles per hour (127 kph) to 30 miles per hour (48 kph) for passenger trains just before the tracks curve to cross Interstate 5, which is where the train went off the tracks.

Amtrak Cascades passenger trains going through Tacoma would usually take a route along the shores of Puget Sound.

Monday's southbound train, which was scheduled to depart Seattle at 6 a.m. for Portland, was the first to run along the new route, which uses tracks owned by a local commuter line.

Although it has been speculated that the new route may be connected to the crash, the reason remains unknown at this time.

A statement from the state transportation department said the track had undergone "weeks of inspection and testing" before Monday's launch.

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.

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"Once we were coming up on that curve, the train slowed down considerably, " he said, adding that "in no way did it make me feel like we were going too fast". "A lot of them were screaming and moaning, but there was nothing we could do to help them really, so we just stayed with them, we held their hands, we talked to them, we rubbed their backs, tried to get them to just relax and try to be a comfortable as they could", he said.

The conversation finishes with the conductor telling the dispatcher, "as soon as I know where all my train is, I'll let you know". Mr. Trump has said he will unveil his long-delayed infrastructure proposal after Congress passes its tax bill. The Federal Railroad Administration also tweeted it has investigators en route to the scene. As the Northwest News Network's Austin Jenkins told Here & Now,"this is Interstate 5, the main north-south thoroughfare through Washington state - and for that matter, up and down the West Coast".

"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", he told local outlet KOMO news earlier in December.

The derailment was Amtrak's second in Washington state this year.

Audio from an emergency call from inside an Amtrak train that derailed Monday morning depicts the chilling details right after the crash.

Federal officials confirmed an Amtrak train was hurtling 50 miles per hour over the speed limit when it careened off an overpass south of Seattle, spilling cars onto the highway below and killing at least three people.

This story was reported by Reuters.

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