3 confirmed dead in Amtrak train derailment in Washington

An Amtrak train derailment hangs over an overpass along I-5 south of Seattle on Dec 18th 2017

An Amrak train derailed in the northwestern US state of Washington Monday, with some of its cars falling on a busy interstate below.

An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle, and authorities say "injuries and casualties" were reported.

The derailment occurred on the first day Amtrak trains began using the new inland route between the Washington cities of Tacoma and Olympia, part of a $181 million project to cut travel time, according to an October news release from the state's transportation department and Amtrak.

Train cars toppled off of a bridge onto Interstate 5 below.

Amtrak serves more than 500 destinations in 46 USA states and three Canadian provinces with more than 300 trains running over 21,300 miles (34,000 km) of track every day.

The train was making its first trip on a new route from Seattle in 6:00 a.m.to Portland about 3 hours later, the Associated Press said.

"Victims from the Amtrak train that derailed in DuPont are at three of our hospitals", MultiCare Health, a non-profit network of hospitals and clinics announced in a tweet.

The National Transportation Safety Board is launching an investigation.

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"This specific vehicle on the train derailed minutes after we shot this video".

According to several local reports, Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson was against the new bypass project and expressed his concerns when WSDOT workers came to Lakewood to give an update on the high-speed rail plan. "We are on the bridge [inaudiable] on the freeway".

Passengers told local news stations that they had to escape the train by kicking out windows after the emergency doors failed to open.

"Some injuries are reported", Amtrak said in a statement. "We got cars everywhere and down onto the highway".

Amtrak service south of Seattle is temporarily suspended.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency for the counties affected by the derailment and asked motorists to avoid traveling on Interstate 5 while the Washington Department of Transportation works on alternate routes.

"I'm not sure what happened", he said.

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