Tuesday, 19 December 2017

High-Speed Amtrak Train 'Hit Something' Before Derailing On Washington State Line - Killing At Least Three And Injuring 100

Washington state Amtrak train derails and falls on highway
An Amtrak train making the first-ever run along a faster new route hurtled off an overpass Monday near Tacoma and spilled some of its cars onto the highway below, killing at least three people, authorities said.

The train was moving at more than 80 mph when it derailed about 40 miles south of Seattle on a route that had raised safety concerns.

An official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press that preliminary signs indicate that Train 501 may have struck something before going off the track. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

In addition, the new high-tech Positive Train Control (PTC) system that each of the brand Amtrak Cascade engines are equipped with was not switched on.

The PTC computer system which prevents a train from exceeding a speed limit and can detect objects or collisions ahead is fitted to all the new Charger locomotives on the Seattle to Portland line.

However, according to CNN, at a conference call today, Amtrak President and Co-CEO Richard Anderson said Positive Train Control was not activated on the tracks at the time.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said thirteen of the train's fourteen cars derailed. One of them crashed onto freeway below, hitting five cars and two semi-trucks. Multiple motorists were injured, but none killed.  

City of DuPont Fire Chief Larry Creekmore also says more than 100 patients transported for treatment Monday after the train went off the track and sent 13 cars onto a highway below.

A U.S. official who was briefed on the investigation said earlier that at least six people were killed. It wasn't immediately clear how to reconcile the numbers. 

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