Amtrak train derails near Chambers Bay; several with minor injuries


    Photo via West Pierce Fire Dept.

    STEILACOOM, Wash. — Several people suffered minor injuries after parts of an Amtrak passenger train derailed Sunday near a town in Washington state's Pierce County, authorities said.

    The locomotive and the baggage car of the Amtrak Cascades train derailed around 2:30 p.m. near the town of Steilacoom, Amtrak and the Pierce County Sheriff's Office said. The train runs between Vancouver, Canada, and Eugene-Springfield, Oregon.

    The train, which was carrying 267 passengers, derailed near the Chambers Bay golf course, which was the site of the 2015 U.S. Open. Four of the train's 15 cars ended up off the tracks.

    "All of the sudden I feel shuttering and they slam on the brakes and we are all of a sudden tilted and everything my husband had on the tray table goes sliding down," Bonnie Landsberg, a passenger, said.

    All passengers were evacuated and provided with alternate transportation, the company said.

    In a statement Sunday evening, Amtrak identified the locomotive as the Amtrak Cascades train. The railroad service company said that the locomotive and the baggage car derailed around 2:30 p.m. and confirmed that several people suffered minor injuries.

    "It was awful.the water was one thing, but seeing what happened to the train was by far the biggest shock," said Chris McMasters.

    None of the cars went into the water, but the bridge tender working alongside the rails did.

    "We saw the bridge tender on the rails waving at him to stop and he realized that train wasn't going to stop and ditched and bailed into the water," said Quinn Rasmussen. The tender wasn't injured.

    Authorities sent boats and a dive team to the area to make sure no passengers went into the water. Firefighters also set up booms as a precaution in case of fuel spills.

    "We know there was about 1,800 gallons of fuel for potential leak or spill," said Battalion Chief Scott Adams with West Pierce Fire and Rescue. "(Our) crew worked for quite awhile putting a boom out there to collect anything that might happened."

    The railroad tracks on which the locomotive derailed were reopened shortly before 6 p.m. for service with restricted speeds, Amtrak said.

    The cause of the derailment is under investigation.


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