Injuries were reported after an Amtrak train derailed Monday morning in Washington state outside of Tacoma, causing at least one train car to fall off an overpass and onto an interstate highway, officials said.
Amtrak train 501 was traveling southbound from Seattle when it derailed along Interstate 5 about 7:30 a.m. “Injuries and casualties were reported,” Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said, though it’s unclear how many people that included.
Amtrak said it was “aware of an incident involving Amtrak train 501” in a Twitter post.
A highway camera showed at least one train car toppled onto the road, causing a traffic jam. Photos tweeted by Washington State Patrol District 1 Public Information Officer showed one car detached and smashed on the ground. Another car was dangling from the overpass.
Chris Kaines, the chair of Pierce Transit’s advisory board, said on Twitter “The train has derailed. Emergency crews are on the scene. Massive damage. People are hurt.” He said the train appeared to have hit a truck, adding that the car was “destroyed.”
The derailment caused all southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Mounts Road in Pierce County to be closed, the Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted.
WSDOT tweeted that drivers should expect long delays and avoid the area. Southbound Interstate 5 near DuPont was closed shortly after the derailment after traffic backed up for miles. More than 60,000 vehicles travel daily near the Interstate 5 area where the derailment occurred.
It’s unclear if there are any injuries or what caused the derailment.
Monday was the first day of schedule changes to include two new round trips between Seattle and Portland, according to the Amtrak website. Amtrak train 501 runs between Portland and Seattle daily.
The southbound lanes of Interstate 5, which see about 60,000 vehicles per day, are expected to be closed for “an extended period,” according to the WSDOT.