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Multiple fatalities and injuries after Washington train derails onto highway

It’s not yet known what caused the incident.

Train derailed Source: WSDOT Tacoma Traffic

A NUMBER OF people have been killed after a passenger trian derailed onto a busy highway in the US state of Washington.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s office confirmed in a tweet that “multiple motorists” were injured in the roadway after “several cars” were struck.

“There’s multiple fatalities,” Ed Troyer, spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department told the media. ”It’s pretty horrific.”

Troyer put no number on the fatalities, but local media said at least three people were killed. None of the people in vehicles travelling on the highway below the train were killed, according to Troyer.

Local news outlets reported that dozens of people were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

“When we got to the scene, it was obvious there were fatalities and injuries, and some people were able to get off the train,” Troyer said.

No fatalities on the roadway. As you can see by the large response, we have taken them out and people that were able to walk are under the tents being cared for by multiple groups.

The incident occurred near the city of Tacoma, with one carriage dropping down onto a busy interstate highway. washington state patrol police said that 12 train carriages and two engines were involved in the crash – 13 of those carriages derailed.

Seven vehicles in total were also involved in the incident.

The US railroad company Amtrak confirmed that its Cascades 501 train derailed after leaving Seattle at 6am this morning. The train was carrying 77 passengers and five crew members when it derailed.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), which will investigate the incident, tweeted out a warning advising people to avoid that motorway.

“All southbound lanes of I-5 [are] blocked near Mounts Road in Pierce County due to derailed train car. Avoid area!”

The Seattle Times reports that the WSDOT said the train was running down a new bypass created to avoid slow curves and “single track tunnels” before the incident occurred.

Service on the line has been recently upgraded and was meant to be quicker, with improvements in tracks and signalling systems.

In a statement, the WSDOT said that “today was the first public use of the tracks, after weeks of inspection and testing”.

Hours after the incident, US President Donald Trump said that the train derailment was a reason why his transport plans should be approved.

Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter

His Twitter account sent out the following statement:

“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.

“Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”

Minutes later, he added:

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington. Thank you to all of our wonderful First Responders who are on the scene. We are currently monitoring here at the White House.

- With reporting from © AFP 2017

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