There has been a horrific Amtrak derailment in Tacoma, Washington. The train was carrying 78 passengers and 5 crew when it went off the tracks at 7:30 am. The train was traveling at 81 mph. It was the inaugural ride on Amtrak’s new line. Several of the train cars tumbled from an overpass and fell on top of each other. They landed on an interstate highway. I used to live in that area and this breaks my heart. They aren’t saying what the cause was yet, but my mind drifted to terrorism. There have been a lot of warnings over the last couple of weeks and a lot of terrorist chatter. I guess we’ll see. It’s more likely poor planning.

There have been multiple fatalities after Amtrak 501 derailed this morning along Interstate 5. This was her maiden trip. It was just leaving the new Tacoma station. The train was traveling southbound from Seattle when it derailed. Several cars on the highway were struck by the Amtrak cars, injuring multiple drivers. No deaths have yet been reported among the drivers.

An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle early Monday, causing “injuries and casualties,” according to officials. (Washington State Patrol Trooper Brooke Bova)

This is part of Amtrak’s “Cascades” service from Seattle, WA to Portland, OR. Reports are coming in of injured passengers and crew members who were taken to hospitals. Service for two Amtrak Cascades trains has now been canceled. One highway camera showed at least one train car toppling onto the road, but I have seen pictures of more than that. It caused a traffic jam. Photos tweeted by Washington State Patrol Public Information Officer Brooke Bova showed one car detached and smashed on the ground. Another car was dangling from the overpass.

One of the passengers, Chris Karnes, who was three or four cars back from the front, said, “I’m not sure what got hit. I’m not sure what happened.” It sure sounds like they hit something or took a curve too fast. Bova told Fox News’ “Happening Now” that people are advised to avoid Interstate 5 and that clearing the area will be an “all day” process. Chris Kaines, who is the chair of Pierce Transit’s advisory board, tweeted, “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.”

There is a “go-team” en-route from the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the cause of the accident. They are coming from DC. The Federal Railroad Administration also tweeted it has investigators on the way to the scene. There will be long delays and drivers are being told to avoid the area. I think saying that everything will be open by tomorrow is being overly optimistic here. Traffic is backed up for miles.

Today was supposed to be the first day of schedule changes to include two new round trips between Seattle and Portland, according to the Amtrak website. Amtrak train 501 is part of the new route running between Portland and Seattle daily. Washington Department of Transportation spent $800 million on passenger train improvement. 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.

Lakewood mayor Don Anderson made a chilling comment saying it was only a matter of time until a deadly derailment would occur. He was advocating for grade separations to protect people from the trains. “Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens,” Anderson said.

The accident is now being reported as a mass casualty event. Please pray for the people involved in this horrific tragedy. The last word I have is that six are dead and 74 have been taken to hospitals.

A map showing the new route where an Amtrak train derailed outside Tacoma, Washington. (Washington Department of Transportation.)

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - She also does research at You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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