• Lexi Ponder

Derailed train kills six and injures a hundred in Washington

On Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, a U.S. passenger train derailed while traveling at 80mph (130km/h), killing at least six people while injuring about 100 others in Dupont, Wash. The train crashed after traveling on a curve with a set speed limit of 30mph.

The crash the Amtrak Train No. 501 occurred as the train was on a highway overpass south of Tacoma; after going around the curve and derailing, the train crashed onto a highway below, according to the National Transportation Safety Board at a Monday night briefing. The crash took place around 7:33 a.m., midway between Tacoma and Olympia; the original full route was from Seattle to Portland.

The train was carrying 77 passengers and seven staff members. According to the New York Times, the train “dropped a 132-ton locomotive in the southbound lanes of the Northeast’s busiest travel corridor, Interstate 5.” The train’s 12 coaches and one of the two engines derailed onto the highway. According to surviving passengers, the train began to rock and creak as it rapidly rounded the curve before derailing and going off the bridge into traffic on the highway.

Investigators have continued going through the wreckage but say it will take them about a week or 10 days to complete the investigation. They still cannot tell anyone for certain how the six individuals were killed.

The people who were injured were sent to the hospital, according to CHI Franciscan Health, a regional hospital network. Among those injured were four people who were classified as “level red,” meaning they showed the most injuries. Several individuals on the highway were also injured, and about seven vehicles were hit by the train.