'At least six people killed' after Amtrak train derails near Seattle

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At least six people were killed after an Amtrak train derailed and fell off a bridge onto Interstate 5 between Tacoma and Olympia in Washington state.

Officials gave no reason for the derailment of southbound Amtrak train 501, the inaugural run of a new service that promised faster connections between Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle on Monday, and authorities reported "injuries and casualties".

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department said several cars on I5 were struck by derailed Amtrak train cars and that multiple motorists injured on roadway. Once we all came to a stop I was able to look up and see, unfortunately, this scary thing of. a train hanging off of the overpass. CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports the train tracks themselves are not owned by Amtrak; they're maintained by a freight railroad. A website that monitors locations and speeds of Amtrak trains, transitdocs.com, reported that the train was going about 81 miles per hour shortly before the derailment, The Associated Press reported.

An Amtrak spokesperson said there were about 78 passengers and five crew members on board the train when the accident happened.

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It was not immediately clear whether the derailment was connected to the new route.

Amtrak president and co-chief executive Richard Anderson said he was "deeply saddened" by the crash. Part of that retrofit was to include positive train control systems that can prevent risky situations such as excessive speed.

By law, PTC must be installed on all passenger rail systems by 2018, a deadline that has repeatedly been delayed after rail agencies said implementation was more complicated than anticipated.

US President Donald Trump said the accident underscored the need to invest in infrastructure.

Another Sound Transit spokeswoman, Rachelle Cunningham, confirmed the maximum allowable speed was 30 miles per hour at the derailment point but could not say where that lower limit began.

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