Amtrak train derails near Tacoma, WA (Update: Aerial video)

An Amtrak passenger train traveling between Seattle, WA and Portland, OR derailed this morning, leaving one car dangling over the I-5 freeway. There are early reports of casualties including some fatalities. Reports indicate there were 70 people on the train at the time it crashed.

Amtrak has acknowledged the incident on Twitter and posted a statement saying service south of Seattle is suspended:

Amtrak is aware of an incident with Train 501, Cascades service from Seattle to Portland. Emergency services are on the scene and Amtrak management is responding. Some injuries are reported.

Amtrak service south of Seattle is temporarily suspended. Service from Seattle to points north and east is continuing to operate.

The Governor of Washington thanked first responders:

Here are some of the first images of the accident:

One car is hanging off the overpass and another appears to be flipped upside-down on the freeway below:

The local Sheriff’s office reported that the train injured motorists below when it fell:

A witness passing on the other side of the freeway told CNN she could see passenger vehicles under the fallen train:

More images:

Kiro 7 is now reporting 3 fatalities. Seattle Times reporter Lewis Kamb says a local hospital is treating 12 patients from the derailment:

I’ll continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

Update: Amtrak says there a total of 83 people were on board:

Update: This was the first train on the first day of a new train service from Seattle to Portland. Reporter Alex Rozier got off the train shortly before it crashed:

Update: Sheriff’s office says casualty numbers being reported did not come from them. Official numbers still not released:

Update: Kiro 7 says at least 90 people sent to local hospitals, this presumably includes people on the freeway below:

Also, the Associated Press is reporting some information the train’s speed just before the crash:

The train was going 81.1 mph moments before the derailment, according to, a website that maps Amtrak train locations and speeds using data from the railroad’s train tracker app.

The maximum speed along the stretch of track, known as Point Defiance Bypass, is 79 mph, according to information about the project posted online by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Update: This aerial footage really shows how much of the train wound up on the freeway below. The one car which remains on the track was apparently the rear engine. It looks as if some cars went off to the right of the track and then stacked up on the bridge and forced the last few cars off to the left.