Local commuters told Channel 3 that they were on edge after at least three people were killed when an Amtrak train hurtled off an overpass in Washington state.
The train making the first-ever run along a faster new route hurtled off an overpass south of Seattle on Monday and spilled some of its cars onto the highway below, killing at least three people, injuring dozens and crushing two vehicles, authorities said.
Attention quickly turned to the train's speed. Federal investigators say the train was traveling at 80 mph (129 kph) in a 30 mph (48 kph) zone.
Bella Dinh-Zarr, a National Transportation Safety Board member, said it's not yet known what caused the train to derail and that "it's too early to tell" why it was going so fast.
There were 80 passengers and five on-duty crew on board when the train derailed and pulled 13 cars off the tracks. Authorities said there were three confirmed deaths. More than 70 people were taken for medical care - including 10 with serious injuries.
”The fact that I take the train every day," Sonia Leon, who commutes to Stamford every day, said. "This is something that always concerns me, but it’s just heartbreaking.”
Channel 3 spoke with the commuters at Union Station in New Haven on Tuesday morning. Leon said the images of the crash were horrifying.
”That does concern me because then that could have been anyone," Leon said. "That could have been the train that I’m on.”
People made their way to Union Station on Tuesday morning to begin their daily grind, but certainly what happened on Monday is on their minds, especially after learning that speed may have been a factor.
“I catch the train every day, back and forth to work,” Maurice Morrison, who commutes to Bridgeport, said. “And sometimes the train is wobbling and it makes you kind of nervous like the train is going to fall off, and to actually see a train fall off is kind of scary.”
More information on the deadly train derailment is expected to come out on Tuesday.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal took to Twitter on Tuesday and said it was "outrageous" how fast the train was going.
"Why was Amtrak train traveling at nearly TRIPLE the speed limit before fatal derailment? Positive Train Control might have prevented this disaster and saved lives," Blumenthal tweeted.
No longer can railroads irresponsibly put profits ahead of passenger safety. Positive Train Control needed now – before more lives are lost.— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 19, 2017
Blumenthal also said that "too many lives lost while railroads failed to install Positive Train Control" and "implementation is absolutely essential by 2018 deadline."
Unconscionable delays in implementing Positive Train Control now a potential factor in Amtrak tragedy. We cannot afford more delays sought by railroads.— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 19, 2017
Stay with Eyewitness News for more information as soon as it comes into the newsroom.
Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.?