Amtrak crash shows why we need infrastructure plan

Audio from an emergency call from inside an Amtrak train that derailed Monday morning depicts the chilling details right after the crash.

The new bypass, which takes the Amtrak train inland along the west side of Interstate 5, was created to allow for the addition of two new round-trip trains.

A train crew member told an emergency dispatcher the train came around a corner before the bridge and then "we went on the ground", according to an audio recording posted by Broadcastify.com.

President Donald Trump said an Amtrak passenger train derailment that killed at least six people in Washington state bolstered his case for investing in the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

- About 77 people were transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties, officials said.

The maximum speed drops from 79 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour for passenger trains just before the tracks curve to cross Interstate 5, according to a track chart prepared by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Five vehicles and two trucks were involved in the accident as 13 of the train's 14 carriages jumped the tracks.

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Amtrak train derailed roughly 63 kilometres south of Seattle. The locomotive and a passenger vehicle spilled down an embankment, derailing three other cars and injuring seven people.

"All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill", passenger Chris Karnes told Seattle broadcaster KIRO TV.

"The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, Wash., shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly".

Local authorities reported multiple casualties.

Train service south of Seattle is temporarily suspended, Amtrak said.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced it is sending a "go team" of 20 from Washington, DC, to investigate the derailment. "We're praying for everyone on board the train and ask everyone to hold them in your thoughts".

"We will do everything in our power to support these passengers, our employees and their families. You just knew when you saw it that something terrible had happened", witness Danae Orlob said. "Additional information to follow when available", the tweet said.

  • Desiree Holland