MNA International Desk: An Amtrak passenger train traveling on a new route for the first time derailed Monday in Washington state, killing at least three people as cars plunged off a bridge onto a busy highway at the height of morning rush hour, officials said.
The train, which was carrying 77 passengers and seven crew, derailed in DuPont about halfway between Tacoma and the state capital Olympia on a curve that passes over busy Interstate 5 at about 7:40 am (1540 GMT).
Several other carriages of the 14-car train also ended up on the highway, shutting down a key section of the busy artery that connects the greater Seattle metropolitan area to Olympia. All but one car jumped the tracks.
Officials gave no reason for the derailment of southbound Amtrak train 501, the inaugural run of a new service that promised faster connections between Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
Local officials had warned only weeks ago that the track still might not be safe enough to handle trains at higher speeds.
More than 100 were transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties. Four of them suffered serious injuries. The train had 14 cars, including two engines, said Brook Bova of the Washington State Patrol.