The speed limit at the curve where the train crosses Interstate 5 is 30 miles per hour, said state transportation department spokeswoman Barbara LaBoe, while the speed limit on most of the track is 79 miles per hour.
Just after the train derailed, the conductor spoke with dispatch, in a conversation obtained by Broadcastify.com. We've got cars everywhere and down onto the highway, " he tells the dispatcher, who asks if everyone is OK. "Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens" Anderson said.
Emma Shafer was headed home to Vancouver, Washington, on winter break from the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and was napping when the crash occurred.
Wendy Simmons arrived as people were helping the injured and saw first responders climbing into the train cars dangling over the edge of the overpass.
"It felt oddly silent after the actual crashing", Shafer said. There was a lot of metal, a lot of screeching, a lot of being thrown around. He said the track appeared relatively undisturbed, so it seemed unlikely that something knocked the train off the track, and he noted that it appeared the train drove in a straight line missing the turn. It was very quiet.
"I wasn't scared. I knew what to expect". A guy was like, 'Hey, I'm Robert.More news: Thunder's Russell Westbrook to Joel Embiid: 'Go home'
Dr. Nathan Selden, a neurosurgeon at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, said he and his son drove through the accident scene while traveling north to visit Seattle. Some motorists were injured but none died, authorities said.
In a tweet, President Donald Trump said: "My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Wash".
In Washington state, Amtrak suspended a train engineer earlier this year after a derailment near Steilacoom. Track testing began in January and February in advance of Monday's launch and continued through at least July, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The Amtrak train that derailed Monday morning on its inaugural trip through a faster railway route was supposed to slow dramatically, to 30 miles per hour, before entering the curve where the crash occurred.
"All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill", passenger Chris Karnes told Seattle broadcaster KIRO TV.
"We moved down to the trains that were more seriously damaged that had flipped upside down, and luckily I had brought a headlamp with me from my vehicle, because the trains were all dark, and there was a lot of wreckage, and some of them were upside down or the roofs were caved in", Konzelman said.