Deaths reported after major train derailment in Washington State
19 December, 2017, 10:59 | Author: Earnest Huff
Several people have been killed and at least 20 others were taken to hospital after a passenger train in the United States derailed about 40 miles south of Seattle, sending a number of carriages plunging on to a major highway.
A USA official told The Associated Press the death toll is expected to rise and track obstruction is being investigated as a possible cause of the derailment.
State transportation authorities reported that the $181 million new route passes over Interstate 5 which allows the trains to reach a higher speed of 79 miles per hour, shortening the commute time.
Survivor Chris Karnes said the train had passed the city of DuPont when he heard "rocking and creaking".
"Let me begin by expressing our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt prayers to the victims of the train derailment in Washington state", Trump said.
Karnes, who was on board the train when it derailed, said at least seven cars derailed from the tracks.
'Next thing, we're being slammed into the front of our seats.' People kicked out windows to escape, he said. National Transportation Safety Board investigators were looking at the scene to determine the cause.
Karnes said the tracks were supposed to have been upgraded to accommodate higher speeds.
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"The only vehicle that is on the tracks is the rear locomotive".
Local officials had anxious about trains going at higher speeds through the curves in the area. "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.
US President Donald Trump said the accident underscored the need to invest in infrastructure.
The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly.
The new train cars were to be pulled by new Siemens Charger locomotives that include an "on-board positive train controls system", created to automatically stop the train in unsafe situations and mandated for trains around the country.
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