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Tacoma, Washington Amtrak Train Derailment December 2017

A High-Speed Train Derailed in Washington, Weeks After Mayor Warned of Danger

This is a developing story and will be updated as details are confirmed.

A high-speed Amtrak train making its inaugural trip on a new commuter route derailed onto a Tacoma-area highway in Washington early on Dec. 18, resulting in several casualties. The train, which was travelling at speeds of around 70 miles per hour, reportedly began to wobble before derailing, leaving some cars tipped off the track overpass and onto a highway. "The casualties include multiple injuries and fatalities," a county spokesman confirmed to local media.

The tragic accident was, unfortunately, not entirely unexpected. After viewing a presentation about the new train route and track upgrades, the leader of a town along the route predicted deadly consequences for the lack of safety enhancements. Urging the Department of Transportation to install additional grade separations to protect citizens from the high-speed trains, Lakewood, Washington, Mayor Don Anderson warned: "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."

As reports emerge of victims being pulled from the wrecked train cars, Mayor Anderson's warning rings eerily true. Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. View photos from the harrowing scene below, then check back for updates as more details are confirmed.

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