25 Injured in Train Derailment After Rain Washes Out Roadbed

Associated Press

An Amtrak train carrying 190 passengers from Los Angeles to Seattle derailed Sunday after heavy rain washed out the roadbed, and at least 25 people suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

One engine of the nine-car Coast Starlight was hurled into a deep ravine about 4:30 p.m., in a steep, wooded area at Nisqually, Burlington Northern spokesman T. Warnstadt said. Another railroad spokesman said that an engine caught on fire in the accident, but it was not determined whether it was the one in the ravine.

The cause of the derailment was the "washout of the roadbed underneath" the rails and a mud slide, Warnstadt said.

The injured, some wearing neck braces, were taken by pickup trucks mounted on rails to a staging area, where they were treated and covered with bright yellow sheets. They then were taken to St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

The derailment occurred after a storm dumped more than four inches of rain on western Washington state, causing floods and mud slides and leaving one man critically injured and another missing and feared drowned, authorities said Sunday.

A 25-year-old Kirkland, Wash., man who was critically injured when he was trapped in his home by a mud slide Saturday night underwent surgery Sunday.

A pickup truck flipped off a bridge into Seattle's Lake Washington in the heavy rain Saturday, and the driver, identified as Wayne L. Hopkins, 25, was missing and feared drowned, police said.

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