Injuries and Casualties Reported After Amtrak Train Derailment Next to Interstate 5 Near Olympia, Washington

Last Updated: Dec 19, 12:40 p.m.

Deaths Confirmed in Amtrak Derailment

Three people are confirmed dead after a train derailed on Monday morning near Olympia, Washington. The train was on its inaugural run out of a new station in Tacoma and took a turn too fast, causing 13 of the trains 14 cars to detail, some falling off an overpass on to busy south Interstate 5 just outside DuPont, Washington.

No motorists were killed but at least 50 people were reported injured and sent to area hospitals.

As of 6 p.m. Monday night officials in Washington reported that some of the train cars were still not safe enough for rescuers to search but they could confirm there are no passengers alive in those cars. Rescuers expect more casualties to be found once those cars can be safely searched.

The train was traveling between Seattle and Portland with 77 passengers and seven crew aboard.

Prior to the derailment on Monday officials had expressed concerns about commuter trains along that route traveling at 80 mph, faster than trains have generally run on that particular stretch of track.

The incident is currently being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Investigators are looking to recover the train’s data recorder, similar to a planes black box, in order to gain more insight on what happened prior to the derailment. It will likely be weeks, if not months, before the investigation yields any answers.

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At Least Seven Cars Derailed on New Amtrak Cascades Inaugural Run

A passenger onboard Amtrak Cascades Train 501 says at least seven cars derailed in DuPont, Washington Monday morning around 7:40am.
Chris Karnes tells CBS News the emergency doors were not functioning correctly, so some surviving passengers had to kick out the train’s windows to exit.
Amtrak confirms at least 78 passengers and 5 crew members were onboard the train when it derailed at an overpass above Interstate 5 in Pierce County, Washington, crushing some of the cars and trucks on the freeway.
Emergency responders say there are fatalities onboard the train.

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A passenger onboard Amtrak Cascades Train 501 says at least seven cars derailed in DuPont, Washington Monday morning around 7:40am.

Chris Karnes tells CBS News the emergency doors were not functioning correctly, so some surviving passengers has to kick out the train’s windows to exit. Amtrak confirms at least 78 passengers and 5 crew members were on board the train when it derailed at an overpass above Interstate 5 in Pierce County, Washington, crushing some of the cars and trucks on the freeway. Emergency responders say there are fatalities on board the train. 

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The new Amtrak Cascades train between Seattle and Portland was making its inaugural run this morning when it derailed around 7:40 a.m., next to Interstate 5 near Olympia, Washington. Early reports from the scene indicate there are fatal casualties inside the train, but there are also reports that some survivors were able to walk away from the wreckage. The train involved was Train Number 501 on the Amtrak schedule.

As of 9:20 a.m. on Monday, southbound Interstate 5 is shut down near Olympia and is expected to be closed for some time.

 

The Great Outdoors: Mosier Train Derailment

It’s been almost a year since an oil train derailed and exploded in the town of Mosier, threatening not only the residents, but also the nearby Columbia River.

For our Great Outdoors segment this week, sponsored by Camp Abbot Trading Co., Brian Jennings takes us back to Mosier for a look at the lessons learned one year after the derailment.

Train Derailment Training in Bend

It’s the kind of disaster that no one thinks will happen in their city, but first responders have to be ready. When an oil train derailed in the small town of Mosier, Oregon last year, it was a wake-up call to communities across Oregon, where crude oil is shipped, including Bend.

As Curtis Vogel reports, members of Shell oil company and Burlington Norther Santa Fe Railway were in Bend this week to train Bend Fire and Rescue firefighters on how to deal with the worst-case scenario.