An Amtrak train that hurtled off an overpass south of Seattle in the US state of Washington yesterday was travelling at almost three times the speed limit for that section of track, according to investigators.
At least three people were killed and dozens more were injured when the carriages from the train fell on to the highway below. The train had been making its first-ever run along a new, faster route when it derailed at around 7.30am on Monday.
Federal investigators say the train was travelling at 80mph (129km/h) in a 30mph zone, reports UK newspaper The Guardian.
National Transportation Safety Board member Bella Dinh-Zarr told a news conference last night night that the event data recorder in the rear locomotive provided information about the train’s speed.
Dinh-Zarr said it was not yet known what caused the train to derail, nor why the train was going so fast.
She said it was likely that federal investigators would be on the scene for a week or more.
There were 80 passengers and five on-duty crew on board when the train derailed and 13 carriages fell off the tracks.
As well as the three confirmed deaths, more than 70 people needed medical care including 10 with serious injuries.
Image: Amtrak train cars lie on Interstate 5 after a derailment in DuPont, Washington on Monday, 18 December 2017 (David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images)