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At least 3 dead after Amtrak train crashes onto I-5 near Seattle

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Amtrak train 501 derails and falls from an overpass onto highwar I-5 causing multiple fatalities outside Seattle in Dupont, Washington on Monday
Amtrak train 501 derails and falls from an overpass onto highwar I-5 causing multiple fatalities outside Seattle in Dupont, Washington on Monday

UPI, December 18, 2017 -- At least three people died Monday when an Amtrak train derailed on an overpass -- and one of its cars crashed down onto a busy freeway in northwest Washington state, officials said.

Amtrak 501 was traveling from Seattle to Portland, Ore., Monday morning when it derailed in DuPont, Wash., authorities said. One car was left dangling from the overpass and one crashed onto busy Interstate 5 below.

The train car struck several vehicles on the highway, but all of the dead were train passengers, KIRO-TV reported.

"All lanes of southbound I-5 at Mounts Road closed," the Washington State Department of Transportation said in a tweet.

Five crew members and 78 passengers were aboard the train when it derailed, officials said.

First responders identified the derailment as a "mass casualty incident." Seventy-seven people were hospitalized, three of whom have "severe injuries," The News Tribune reported.

"Emergency crews are on the scene and the Amtrak Management is responding," Amtrak said in a statement.

DuPont is about 35 miles southwest from Seattle and 15 miles from Tacoma.

"Today's tragic incident in Pierce County is a serious and ongoing emergency. Trudi and I are holding in our hearts everyone on board, and are praying for the many injured," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted.

The governor declared a state of emergency.

Monday's was the inaugural run of the new high-speed train service connecting Seattle to Portland.