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Six Dead, 77 Injured in Washington State Amtrak Crash

Six Dead, 77 Injured in Washington State Amtrak Crash

Officials in the USA state of Washington said that there had been at least six fatalities after an Amtrak passenger train derailed during its inaugural run on a new faster route near the city of Tacoma.

Injuries have been reported in the derailment of a passenger Amtrak train near Olympia. The locomotive and several of the train's passenger cars landed on the interstate.

Amtrak serves more than 500 destinations in 46 US states and three Canadian provinces with more than 300 trains running over 21,300 miles (34,000 km) of track every day. Amtrak said in a statement "some injuries are reported", adding that service south of Seattle "is temporarily suspended" while service northbound and eastbound from Seattle continues to operate.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the National Transportation Safety Board is now charged with a thorough investigation.

The worst rail accident over the past 40 years or so goes back to October 1972 when two suburban trains collided in Chicago, leaving 45 dead and more than 330 injured. "This time it may have saved @AlexRozierK5 and @King5unit9's lives", tweeted KING 5 News reporter Elisa Hahn. "We are on the bridge [inaudiable] on the freeway".

Moments before the derailment, the train was going 81.1 miles per hour, according to transitdocs.com, which maps train speeds using data from Amtrak's train tracker app. "We got off after shooting the video".

Karnes said that people had escaped the wreckage by kicking out windows.

"Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements", he said, according to KOMO News.

The accident prompted the closure of all southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in Pierce County near Mounts Road, the Washington State Department of Transportation said on its website. "We will do everything in our power to support our passengers and crew and their families".

"I'm not sure what happened", he said.

Interstate 5 is completely closed in both directions and dozens of first responders are heading to the scene, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).