This is the 17th fatality involving a person hit by a train in Washington state this year.
A man walking across the tracks between two BNSF Railway freight cars was struck and killed Monday afternoon near South Spokane Street, the railroad says.
The incident was reported at 2:55 p.m. to emergency dispatchers. Sound Transit’s first Sounder south train to Pierce County made it out of Seattle, but others were held at King Street Station.
One of the three mainline tracks in South Seattle was expected to reopen around 4:30 p.m., BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said. Delays are likely to persist for some time beyond that. Five trains will depart southbound between 4:55 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Sound Transit said in an update.
This is the 17th time a person has been fatally hit by a train in Washington state this year, Melonas said. The freight train was arriving from Chicago into a BNSF South Seattle yard, he said.
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Sound Transit has been rounding up some extra buses to carry people out of King Street Station, spokesman Scott Thompson said. These could include Sumner, Puyallup, and Lakewood routes that would start their evening trips earlier than usual, he said.
The stoppage affected hundreds of commuters.
Sounder trains carry about 18,000 people a day, most to and from south-end stations. On Thursday several trains were canceled or delayed because of a police response near Boeing Field, when a man hid under a freight train. And earlier this year, trains were delayed by maintenance work. Sounder shares the same regional train corridor with freight and pays BNSF for time on the privately-owned tracks.