A conductor on Amtrak Cascades train 501 made a dramatic call to dispatchers to report that his train had derailed in Washington state, on Monday. You can listen to audio of the call above.
“Amtrak 501, emergency, emergency, emergency, we are on the ground,” the conductor says.
The derailment occurred in DuPont, which is between Tacoma and Olympia. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office says there were fatalities and injuries, but the number of the dead and wounded is not yet known. The cause of the crash has not been determined. The derailment occurred on the first run of the Amtrak commuter train using a bypass through DuPont after the completion of a $180 million project to save time and add more trains between Seattle and Portland, according to the Washington Department of Transportation.
Photos and videos from the scene show train cars hanging from the rail overpass above Interstate 5.
“We are on the bridge (inaudible) on the freeway,” the conductor told dispatchers. “We need EMS ASAP. It looks like they are already starting to show up.”
The dispatcher can then be heard asking, “Hey guys, what happened?”
The conductor responds, “We were coming around the corner to take the bridge over I-5 there, right north of Nisqually and we went on the ground.”
When asked if everyone is OK, the conductor, whose name has not been released, responds, “I’m still figuring that out. We’ve got cars everywhere and down onto the highway.”
The conductor then tells the dispatcher that he has not found his engineer.
“We’re roughly mile post 21, it’s the bridge that goes over I-5,” the conductor said. “As soon as I know exactly where all my train is, I’ll let you know.”