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Thread: Six dead in Washington Amtrak derailment

  1. #1
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    Six dead in Washington Amtrak derailment

    Six dead in Amtrak train derailment over Washington state highway
    CNN, Dec 18 2017 5:46 PM ET

    An Amtrak passenger train on its first trip on a new service route derailed Monday morning near DuPont, Washington, spilling 13 cars off an Interstate 5 overpass and killing six people, according to the spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office and the Washington State Patrol. Seventy-seven people were transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties. Four of them suffered serious injuries.

    The crash happened at 7:40 AM local time, about 20 miles south of Tacoma. The train was running southbound from Seattle when 13 rail cars derailed in a curve near an interstate overpass, sending them onto the highway below and shutting down traffic. Several motorists in vehicles that were struck by the fallen train cars suffered injuries but there were no fatalities among people in those vehicles. Today was the first day of Amtrak 501's Cascades service between Seattle and Portland.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/18/us/amt...ton/index.html

    "And now, here is Me with a commentary." Thank you, Me. Don Anderson, Mayor of nearby Lakewood, spoke to Department Of Transportation officials at a December 5 meeting, warning that the high-speed trains will eventually cause fatalities because the trains are too close to cars and pedestrians. He urged improvements to the grade separations. He told the DOT officials, "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."

    Maybe they should have listened.
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    From The Washington Post, here is the transcript of the 911 call made by an Amtrak crew member seconds after the derailment:

    Crew member "Amtrak 501, emergency, emergency, emergency. We’re on the ground. We are on the bridge on the freeway. We need EMS ASAP. It looks like they’re already starting to show up."
    Dispatcher: "501, come in."
    Crew member: "Amtrak 501, answering Centralia North, over."
    Dispatcher: "Copy that. Hey guys, what happened?"
    Crew member: "We were coming around the corner to take the bridge over I-5 there, right north in Nisqually and we went on the ground."
    Dispatcher: "Is everybody okay?"
    Crew member: "I’m still figuring that out. We got cars everywhere and down onto the highway. As soon as I know exactly where all my train is, I’ll let you know."

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.c5e1429b64e7

  3. #3
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    The Amtrak train was equipped with an automatic speed control system that would slow the train if it was going too fast.

    It hadn't been activated.

    Curve where Amtrak train derailed has speed limit of 30 mph

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-...mit-of-30-mph/

  4. #4
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    Jerry Brown keeps pushing to get a high-speed train built in California. It is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget and most people don't even want it. This accident in Washington will give them another reason to be against the train.

  5. #5
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    An official told The Associated Press this morning that six people died in the train derailment. Buzzfeed now says state troopers have confirmed only three fatalities. That is still three too many.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/a...shington-state

  6. #6
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    John Goglia, a former NTSB train accident investigator, wrote an article for Forbes explaining how a 20-person team of investigators will work to determine the cause of the Amtrak derailment:

    How the NTSB will investigate the deadly Amtrak derailment In Washington State

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngog.../#3ccce54e3acb

  7. #7
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    From CNN: "The train was running on track previously used for occasional freight and military transport, the Washington Department of Transportation said in a news release. WDOT said the track had undergone millions of dollars of federally funded improvements and weeks of inspection and testing."

    They should have done "weeks of inspection and testing" of the engineer.

  8. #8
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    Confirmed by NTSB investigators:

    Amtrak derailment: Train was traveling at 80 mph in 30-mph zone

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/201...zone/23311638/

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    Cameras and a recorder captured the actions and conversations of the Amtrak crew. Here is a chilling report from NBC News:

    "Seconds before an Amtrak train flew off the tracks in Washington, the engineer told the crew they were traveling too fast, according to an early National Transportation Safety Board review of the crash that killed three people. The final recorded speed of the locomotive was 78 mph, which is within the limits for the approach to the crash location but not the location itself, which followed a curve with a posted 30 mph speed limit. There is a sign noting the speed limit about two miles before the curve, the NTSB said."

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/201...says/23315443/

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