STEILACOOM, Wash. -- A northbound Amtrak Cascades train derailed Sunday afternoon in Steilacoom near the Chamber's Bay Bridge.
Amtrak said the 15-car train was carrying about 267 passengers when it derailed just after 2:30 p.m.
Pierce County's incident management team reports one minor injury from the derailment and three heat-related sicknesses after the derailment.
“This could have been a lot more catastrophic because it was by the water," Det. Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said.
Photos show four of the train's front cars left the track and the very first car was on its side.
Both tracks of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway are closed.
"There has always been a plan in place to respond if this happened. We’ve trained for this for years. We’ve actually had mock derailments in that same area. We deployed our marine units, boats, and divers, but then ramped down once we realized nobody was in the water," Troyer said.
Passengers were taken by bus to the Tacoma Amtrak station, at 1001 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma, WA.
"It was very scary," one lady told Q13 News Reporter Tatevik Aprikyan. It was her first train ride in America. She says people were screaming, running, luggage flying.
Another passenger said, "it was fine then boom boom boom. It was terrifying, long frustrating day."
There is no word on the cause of the derailment.
Amtrak has released statement:
At approximately 2:30 p.m. today, the locomotive and the baggage car of train 506, the Amtrak Cascades train, operating between Vancouver, BC and Eugene-Springfield, OR, derailed at Chambers Bay Bridge in Steilacoom, WA. There were 267 passengers onboard and presently several minor injuries reported. No reported injuries to crew. All passengers are being evacuated and emergency responders are on scene. Passengers are being provided alternate transportation. The cause is under investigation.
Passengers on train 507 will be provided alternate transportation between Portland and Eugene.
Steilacoom is about 45 miles south of Seattle. The Chambers Bay golf course was the site of the 2015 U.S. Open.
We'll update this article when more information becomes available.