by Rhea Panela, ABS-CBN News
SEATTLE, WA — There are more questions than answers after at least 3 people were reported dead, and more than 77 people were injured as the result of an Amtrak train derailment Monday morning.
Horrifying images from the scene showed at least one train car dangling in the air over an overpass on southbound Interstate 5.
This was the inaugural run for the Amtrak cascades 501 train, when it crashed heading south between Tacoma and Olympia.
According to Soundtransit officials, the positive train control equipment was installed but was still in the testing phase, which is why the safety system has not been activated on this train.
For Pinoys in the area, its affected travel times to Westfield Mall, home to Filipino businesses like Seafood City, Jollibee, Red Ribbon and Chowking.
This is where the Amtrak train departed before it derailed near Tacoma. Now passengers are anxiously waiting to see how this will affect their holiday travels.
“In my opinion, I personally am scared to try and ride the train now, like I’ve thought about it. Like I had a cousin who lives here that came from ca and they wanted to go to CA using the train,” said Danielle Danao.
“It’s just a nerve-wracking think, I never thought that today would be one of those days,” said John Franco.
“I can’t imagine the pain that the families are going through, especially with their lost ones. Especially if they were traveling for the holidays, to them that’s just so sad,” said Danao.
After investigating the incident, the national transportation safety board said the train had been speeding at 80 miles per hour when it should have slowed down for a curve at 30 miles per hour.
NTSB spokeswoman Barbara Laboe said engineers are trained to slow trains according to the posted speed limits.
Friends and family seeking information about their loved ones are encouraged to call Amtrak.
So far, all southbound lanes of I-5 between the Tacoma and Olympia area are to remain closed until further notice.