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Amtrak: three confirmed dead; investigation underway

TRAGIC: Cars from an Amtrak train that derailed above lie spilled onto Interstate 5, Monday, Dec. 18 (Photo credit: BETTINA HANSEN/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

MORE DETAILS are beginning to unravel following the Amtrak derailment in Washington state, where three people were killed.

The train consisted of 12 cars and two locomotives, and all but one of the locomotives left the tracks during the incident.

The Washington State Patrol confirms three fatalities at the crash site, with 72 others being transported to area hospitals.

Out of those 72, 10 patients were in serious condition and one was airlifted to Harborview Medical Centre.

The National Transportation Safety Board has now taken control of the investigation and the I-5 remains closed for the time being.

Recent reports reveal the train was going at 80mph in a 30mph. The Amtrak 501 train left Tacoma early Monday (Dec 18) and derailed near Lacey, about 70 miles southwest of Seattle.

Latest developments:

— More than 100 people were transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties, Creekmore said. Four of them suffered serious injuries, said Cary Evans, spokesman for CHI Franciscan Health.

— Amtrak President & Co-CEO Richard Anderson said “Positive Train Control” was not activated on the tracks when the derailment happened. PTC is a technology that automatically slows down, and eventually stops, a train if it senses it is going too fast.

— The National Transportation Safety Board sent a 20-member team to investigate.

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