Transportation

Amtrak train derails in Washington state, minor injuries reported

The front four passenger cars from an Amtrak Cascades train derailed Sunday afternoon in western Washington state. 

West Pierce County Fire & Rescue told Q13Fox the 15-car train was carrying 267 passengers when it derailed at around 2:30 p.m. in Steilacoom, about 45 miles south of Seattle.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter that there appear to be only minor injuries from the waterfront derailment.

Photos posted on social media show several cars of the train tipped over on the tracks, near the waters of Chambers Bay. 

"This could have been a lot more catastrophic because it was by the water," Sheriff's Det. Ed Troyer told Q13Fox.

Passengers were evacuated from the scene and taken to a nearby ferry terminal. Amtrak said all riders were provided with alternate transportation.

The company confirmed in a statement that the train's locomotive and baggage car had derailed. Amtrak added that the train was traveling between Vancouver, British Columbia and Eugene-Springfield, Ore.

The railroad tracks on which the locomotive derailed was reopened shortly before 6 p.m. PT for service at limited speeds, Amtrak said.

The Gig Harbor Police Department says one of its patrol boats is helping environment officials put in pollution-control booms to block fuel from the derailment from leaking into a nearby body of water. The department posted a photo Sunday afternoon on its Twitter account showing the work.

It was not immediately clear what caused the derailment. Steilacoom is near Chambers Bay golf course, which was the site of the 2015 U.S. Open.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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