Follow along here for the latest news about the Amtrak train derailment north of Olympia.

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Full story: Multiple deaths after Amtrak train derails from bridge onto Interstate 5

What you need to know:

  • At least three people are dead after an Amtrak train derailed from a bridge onto Interstate 5 near Mounts Road between Lakewood and Olympia.
  • There were approximately 80 passengers and five crew members aboard when it derailed, according to Amtrak.
  • The southbound lanes of Interstate 5 were completely blocked by the train.
  • Amtrak is telling people who need information about their friends or family who might have been on the train to call 1-800-523-9101.

Update, 11:30 p.m.

National Transportation Safety Board Member Bella Dinh-Zarr is speaking at a press briefing now.

Dinh-Zarr said the prelimary investigation suggests that the Amtrak train was traveling at 80 mph when it derailed. The train was in a 30 mph zone.

Update, 9:40 p.m.:

The Amtrak Family Assistance Center is now open to assist passengers and families at the Courtyard Marriott in Tacoma. Additionally, families with questions about individuals can contact the Amtrak Incident Hotline at 800-523-9101.

Update, 9 p.m.:

Washington State Patrol has released updated details about the incident, including the latest passenger counts, treatment information for the injured and WSP’s recommendations for detours.

Update, 8:20 p.m.:

Southbound Interstate 5 will be closed at least through Tuesday morning in the area around Monday morning’s deadly train derailment between Lakewood and Olympia.

Update, 8:15 p.m.:

Here’s what we know — and don’t know — about today’s derailment.

Update, 8 p.m.:

Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma admitted 20 patients from the Amtrak derailment. Nine patients are in serious but stable condition, and 11 are in fair and stable condition, according to hospital officials.

Update, 7:50 p.m.:

The City of DuPont has declared a state of emergency as a result of the derailment. The city urged all DuPont residents to stay at home and avoid highway travel when possible.

For those who need to reach destinations south of DuPont, JBLM is opening a detour from Exit 118, through the post, allowing access to the Nisqually area. Northbound I-5 can be accessed from Exit 119. Motorists should expect significant delays on DuPont-Steilacoom Road and when accessing the JBLM southbound detour.

Update, 7:35 p.m.:

Providence St. Peter Hospital admitted 11 patients from the Amtrak derailment. As of Monday evening, six remained hospitalized, with one of those listed in serious condition, according to hospital spokesman Chris Thomas.

Update, 7:25 p.m.:

The incident occurred during the inaugural passenger service along Amtrak’s new route.

Monday’s derailment was the first on Amtrak’s Cascade line to have major injuries or deaths.

Update, 6:55 p.m.:

Amtrak has released a detailed FAQ on the train derailment.

Update, 6:50 p.m.:

Passengers at Tacoma’s new rail facility are being directed to the old station.

(Sharon Bruhn / The Seattle Times)
(Sharon Bruhn / The Seattle Times)

Update, 5:40 p.m.:

Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital has discharged 12 people and transferred two others who were seen after the Amtrak train derailment. Multicare Allenmore Hospital has discharged two patients and transferred one, and two others remain hospitalized. Four patients remain at Multicare Tacoma General Hospital.

Update, 4:50 p.m.:

The State Patrol has confirmed three deaths, said Trooper Brooke Bova, disputing media reports of a greater number of fatalities. Roughly 100 people were taken to local hospitals, a number of them with critical injuries, she said.

Jay Sumerlin, a battalion chief with West Pierce Fire & Rescue, described the dangerous and precarious rescue of those on board the train. Firefighters used the jaws of life, air chisels, ladders and a variety of saws to gain access into the crushed rail cars to pull people out, he said. Hazardous materials crews are also working to contain up to 350 gallons of fuel that leaked from the “power car,” located behind the locomotive, said Sumerlin.

“It’s shocking … It’s actually kind of surreal,” he said of the derailment.

His department has conducted tabletop exercises involving “train cars dangling over the freeway.”

People say, “oh, that’s never going to happen. And here we are,” Sumerlin said.

State Patrol Chief John Batiste offered his condolences to families impacted by the derailment, calling it “a very tragic situation.”

The patrol’s criminal investigations unit has completed its work, though other agencies are continuing their own investigations, Bova said late Monday afternoon. Once those are completed, large cranes — some already on site — will begin stabilizing the rail cars, she said. The effort is expected to go through the night and likely extend into the morning commute, Bova said.

Update, 4:42 p.m.:

All Clover Park schools will be closed Tuesday because of the Amtrak train derailment and limited traffic routes. Classes will resume Jan. 3, the school district said.

Update, 4:20 p.m.:

The Washington State Patrol confirms that three people have died after an Amtrak train derailed. More than 100 people were sent to hospitals.

Update, 4 p.m.:

The train’s conductor and engineer were disorientated but survived the crash, said Detective Chris Bailey, of the Steilacoom Public Safety Department, who was one of the first responders on the scene.

Update, 3:25 p.m.:

Three male patients injured in the Amtrak derailment were transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for further care. One male is in critical condition and the other two are in “serious but stable” condition, Harborview spokesman Susan Gregg said.

Southbound Interstate 5 in DuPont at Center Drive will be closed at least through Tuesday morning, the Washington State Department of Transportation said.

Update, 3:20 p.m.:

Delta says travelers can make a one-time change without a fee to their itinerary if they are scheduled to fly to, from or through Seattle on Monday or Tuesday.

Update, 3:10 p.m.:

The Amtrak train that derailed Monday morning on its inaugural trip through a faster railway route was supposed to slow dramatically, to 30 mph, before entering the curve where the crash occurred.

Daniel Konzelman, who was traveling on Interstate 5 south parallel to the train, said he was traveling at 60 miles per hour or more and watched the train pass his vehicle about a half-mile before the crash.

Full story: Curve where Amtrak train derailed in Washington has speed limit of 30 mph

Update, 3 p.m.:

During his nine years as DuPont mayor, Mike Courts said he has not experienced such a catastrophe in this close-knit, small town.

Ironically, he said, all city staff members were gathered at City Hall Monday morning for scheduled incident management training when they heard of the derailment. City Hall was to be closed Monday and Tuesday.

“We went right from training to the live event,” he said.

“Knowing the high-speed train was going to start, we knew it was our responsibility to get ready for this.”

While sitting in his office early Monday afternoon, he described how first responders — ranging from the local to national level — worked quickly and collaboratively. Businesses caught word and started sending donations to City Hall. City Council chambers was full of meals and water for victims and volunteers, as of Monday afternoon.

“The biggest need for support is obviously the victims of the accident and what happens next,” Courts said. “The city came together.”

After the initial shock wears off, Courts expects to field questions from residents about what happened. People have long voiced concerns about high-speed trains running through the city, he said.

“A lot of questions are being asked,” Courts said.

For updates from DuPont, follow reporter Jessica Lee on Twitter.

Update, 2:40 p.m.:

Audio: Amtrak conductor reports train derailment

In audio originally broadcast on the BNSF dispatch channel, an Amtrak conductor calls for help following the derailment from bridge onto Interstate 5 near Olympia. (Audio Provided by Broadcastify)

Update, 2:10 p.m.:

Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom provides an overview on what we know about the Amtrak train derailment in DuPont:

An Amtrak passenger train derailed near Olympia on Monday morning. It had been southbound from Seattle on the inaugural run of a new route. Transportation reporter Mike Lindblom explains what we know. (The Seattle Times)

Update, 2:05 p.m.:

The Pierce County Medical Examiner has arrived in DuPont. The Washington State Patrol hasn’t yet provided information on the number of casualties.

Update, 1:45 p.m.:

Alaska Airlines announced it will lower ticket prices for flights between Seattle and Portland on Monday and Tuesday in response to the Amtrak derailment. A Seattle to Portland ticket for Tuesday was originally $214 but prices have dropped to $99.

 

Update, 1:18 p.m.:

Emma Shafer, 20, said she escaped from the car that was at a 45 degree angle. Pieces of the train blocked an exit route inside, so she climbed over seats and then climbed down. There were about 12 people in a car, including a family.

“We banded together as time went on,” she said.

While exiting,she saw someone who was severely hurt. Shafer hurt her ear and elbow. The Cornish College of the Arts student was heading to Vancouver, Wash., for winter break.

Update, 1:12 p.m.:

Bloodworks Northwest says it has issued more than 150 units of blood to hospitals for people injured in the Amtrak derailment.

Supplies for O-type blood, AB plasma and platelets remain at critical levels, with a one- or two-day supply, Bloodworks Northwest said.

A list of donor centers is available here.

Update, 12:50 p.m.:

With Interstate 5 shut down for the foreseeable future due to a train derailment Monday morning, state officials urged drivers to delay or postpone trips if at all possible.

Thurston County’s Intercity Transit says that southbound routes from Tacoma will leave as scheduled until they reach Lakewood Station, and then detour to Highway 512 and Highway 507 through Roy and Yelm. Riders should expect significant delays.

Update, 12:30 p.m.:

The Washington State Patrol reports that 13 Amtrak train cars derailed, hitting five cars and two semitrucks on the Interstate 5 lanes below.

Update, 12:10 p.m.:

Seattle Times photographer Bettina Hansen has aerial photos of the derailment scene:

The Washington State Department of Transportation said in a statement that the train will be removed from the interstate after the emergency response is complete and the National Transportation Safety Board has assessed the scene. The transportation department anticipates a lengthy process because of the severity of the incident and the size and weight of the train cars.

All lanes of southbound Interstate 5 at the Pierce-Thurston counties line will remain closed for an unknown period of time. Drivers should plan for a long-term closure and make alternate plans for “at least the rest of the day,” the transportation department said.

Update, 11:50 a.m.:

Gov. Jay Inslee, speaking to reporters at DuPont City Hall, urged people to avoid speculation about the cause of the crash. In the immediate aftermath of the derailment people should “care for these families and avoid I-5 for the foreseeable future.”

The mayor of Lakewood, which is about eight miles northeast of DuPont, said Monday that he had predicted “somebody is going to get killed” because of the Amtrak rail line. Mayor Don Anderson said the city’s concern was the number of at-grade railroad crossings along the new rail route.

Full story: Lakewood mayor had predicted new Amtrak rail line would lead to fatailies.

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Meanwhile, Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma reports that 20 Amtrak passengers arrived at its emergency rooms for treatment. Nine patients are in “serious but stable” condition and 11 are in “fair but stable” condition.

Update, 11:44 a.m.:

Anthony Raimondi, a former Amtrak ticket agent, said he was doing the day trip to mark the inaugural run.

Antony Raimondi of Gig Harbor was riding the inaugural Amtrak train No. 501 for fun this morning when it derailed from bridge onto Interstate 5 near Olympia. (Ramon Dompor / The Seattle Times)

Update, 11:20 a.m.:

Chris Karnes, a software developer from Tacoma, was traveling on the Amtrak train to do some Christmas shopping with his boyfriend. He was in the third of fourth car when it derailed.

He heard a creaking sound and felt the train rock slightly. Then, suddenly, he felt his body launch into the seat in front of his.

“It sounded like being on the inside of an aluminum can being crushed,” he said. “And then we were not on the tracks anymore.”

Full story here: “It sounded like being on the inside of an aluminum can being crushed.”

About 10 minutes after his first tweet about infrastructure, President Donald Trump tweeted that his “thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident.”

Update, 11:15 a.m.:

The fatal derailment of an Amtrak train occurred on a rebuilt, $181 million track corridor that was supposed to make the trip between Seattle and Portland more reliable.

Amtrak Cascades 501, with 70 people aboard, was the first regular service to use the “bypass” track that goes directly from Tacoma to DuPont, instead of a slow but scenic path along Puget Sound at Tacoma Narrows.

Full story here: Derailment occurred along new, $181 million rail corridor

Update, 10:44 a.m.:

President Donald Trump tweeted about the Amtrak crash:

Update, 10:40 a.m.:

St. Peter Hospital in Olympia is requesting blood donations to help victims of the train derailment, according to the City of Lacey. The city asks that those in the area please consider donating blood.

Update, 10:15 a.m.:

We will be posting live updates about the Amtrak derailment near Olympia here. Staff members Jessica Lee, Sara Jean Green, Steve Ringman, Ellen Banner, Hal Bernton and Joe O’Sullivan are providing updates from the scene.

Amtrak is telling people who need information about their friends or family who might have been on the train to call 1-800-523-9101. A family reunification center has been set up at DuPont City Hall.

Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency because of the derailment.