The Amtrak train that derailed Monday in DuPont, Washington, was traveling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone, according to NTSB spokeswoman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, based on information
that was retrieved from the rear locomotive's event data recorder. The train was traveling between Seattle and Portland when 13 of its 14 cars derailed, killing at least three people.
An Amtrak passenger train derailed in Washington state, as several of its cars tumbled off a highway overpass on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 100 others.
The Amtrak Cascades 501 was making its first trip on a new service route between Seattle and Portland when the train ran off the track near DuPont. Thirteen out of its 14 train cars spilled off the tracks, with several strewn off the Interstate 5 overpass with rush hour traffic below, authorities said.
All the deaths were contained to the train, said Ed Troyer, the Pierce County Sheriff's Office spokesman.
-- More than 100 people were transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties, DuPont Fire Chief Larry Creekmore said. Ten people were seriously injured and one was life-flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, said Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesperson.
-- Amtrak President & Co-CEO Richard Anderson said "Positive Train Control" was not activated on the tracks when the derailment happened. PTC is a technology that automatically slows down, and eventually stops, a train if it senses it is going too fast.
-- Investigators with National Transportation Safety Board arrived Monday. sent a 20-member team to investigate.
When it derailed
Several motorists in vehicles that were struck by the fallen train cars suffered injuries, but there were no fatalities among people in those vehicles, the sheriff's office said. Five cars and two semi-trucks were involved in the crash, said Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova at a news conference.
There were 86 people on board at the time, said Magliari.
How did this happen?
The NTSB and local authorities have not said what caused the crash, but questions were quickly raised about the train's speed as it hit a curve.