DuPont, Washington State, USA : Authorities say at least 6 fatalities occurred at the crash site of Amtrak Cascades Train 501 which derailed in DuPont (South of Tacoma), Pierce County, Washington on Monday – with approximately 78 passengers and five crew members on board. 13 cars of Train 501 jumped tracks hitting 5 motor vehicles and 2 semi-trucks on the busy Interstate 5 freeway below.
The incident occurred at 7:38 a.m. according to Washington State Department of Transportation.
The Washington State Patrol Criminal Investigation Detectives are documenting evidence at the scene including using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to take photos of the crash site. Detectives also interviewed witnesses in order to assist the National Traffic Safety Board investigators.
All I-5 southbound lanes at DuPont closed until further notice. Assume lanes will be closed through evening commute on Monday December 18 and for the morning commute on December 19.
Service from Seattle to points north and east is continuing to operate. Amtrak Cascades Trains 504 and 509 are canceled. No alternate transportation will be available says Amtrack in an update.
According to Washington State Department of Transportation, starting at 12:30 p.m., the primary alternate route is a southbound I-5 detour is established at Center Drive. Traffic will drive through Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) to State Route 510. JBLM will handle traffic control on base and WSP will handle traffic control outside the base.
For those who must travel south, for another alternate route we’re highly recommending you take SR 16 to SR 3. We’re already seeing significant congestion on SR 507 and SR 7, and do not recommend travelers take SR 30212-18-17 i5detour
Northbound traffic is encouraged to stay on northbound I-5 and not exit at Center Drive to allow for southbound traffic to detour around the I-5 freeway closure.
If possible, avoid both southbound and northbound I-5 near DuPont for the rest of today says the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Amtrak directs individuals with questions about their friends and family on this train to call (800) 523-9101.