Authorities Uncover Possible Cause of Amtrak Train Derailment

An Amtrak train that derailed in Washington on Monday may have struck an object on the track before careening off the track and onto the busy interstate below.

According to the Associated Press, an official briefed on the investigation revealed that preliminary details indicate that Amtrak No. 501 struck something on a newly implemented high-speed route that had already raised concerns for city officials. It has not been confirmed what object may have impeded the path of the train.

CNN also reported that Richard Anderson, Amtrak’s President and Co-CEO, stated that the Positive Train Control (PTC) system was not activated on the track at the time of the incident.

The PTC system reportedly detects objects on the track, as well as prevents a train from exceeding a set speed limit, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.

Washington State Department of Transportation released a statement Monday on the “tragic derailment,” stating that the section of track previously “used for occasional freight and military transport” had been newly renovated for “passenger rail service,” and had undergone “weeks of inspection and testing.”

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As reported by The Western Journal, the Amtrak No. 501 derailed Monday morning shortly after leaving the Tacoma station, causing 13 of the train’s 14 cars to fall head-on into traffic.

At least three people have been confirmed dead along with over 70 individuals sent to the hospital with injuries ranging from minor to life threatening, according to KIRO.

This post was last modified on March 15, 2018 5:41 pm