World Bulletin / News Desk
The train was on its inaugural run south from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, and there were “injuries and casualties,” but specifics were not immediately available, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office and Amtrak, or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
"We will update with additional details as they become available," Amtrak said in a statement,
According to authorities, at least two train cars fell onto the highway and all lanes of vehicle traffic remain blocked on Interstate 5 while emergency crews respond to the scene as a potential mass casualty incident.
Media reports said at least six were killed and 78 passengers were aboard. The train had a crew of five. Of the 77 people taken to hospitals, including motorists, four are in critical conditions.
"My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington," President Donald Trump said in a tweet. "Thank you to all of our wonderful First Responders who are on the scene. We are currently monitoring here at the White House."
Trump also said the derailment is indicative of an infrastructure plan.
“The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly,” he said during a speech on national security.
“Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!,” he added.
Washington’s Department of Transportation tweeted a photograph of the accident that showed a train car dangling from the tracks onto the highway below. It urged motorists to avoid the area.
The train was part of a new high-speed service that launched Monday, a local television station reported.
“Thank you to the first responders on the scene. We’re praying for everyone on board the train, and ask everyone to hold them in your thoughts,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted.
Inslee later declared a state of emergency in Pierce and Thurston counties to "do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the incidents,", according to the governor’s office.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member Bella Dinh-Zarr told reporters the cause of the derailment is under investigation and it is still "too early" to provide details.