amtrak derailment seattle washington
An Amtrak train derailed on a bridge over a highway Washington state on Monday. Photo: WSDOT Traffic

An Amtrak passenger train derailed in Washington state on Monday morning, injuring and killing an unknown number of people.

 

The derailment happened 40 miles south of Seattle, on a bridge over a major highway, the AP reported. The crash blocked all southbound lanes on Interstate 5 and prompted a massive emergency response, according to local authorities and news media reports.

 

The Pierce County Sheriff’s office said in a tweet that the train was heading southbound and that there were “injuries and casualties,” but no numbers were immediately available.

 

Amtrak confirmed its train was involved but did not provide further information. “We are aware of an incident involving Amtrak train 501,” the rail operator said on Twitter. “We will update with additional details as they become available.”

 

Part of the train fell onto the interstate around 7:30 a.m. causing several injuries, The News Tribune reported. 

A photograph posted on Twitter by the Washington State Department of Transportation showed a train car that had apparently veered off a bridge onto the highway below. The agency said southbound lanes were closed, and warned drivers to avoid the area.

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was gathering information about the incident.

Reuters contributed to this report.