An Amtrak train has derailed between Seattle and Portland. (Washington State Patrol)

UPDATE: ‘Multiple fatalities’ as Amtrak derails in Washington State

13 cars jumped the tracks as train made its first voyage between Seattle and Portland

Authorities say there have been ‘multiple fatalities’ and injuries following an Amtrak passenger train that derailed on the I-5 highway south of Tacoma, WA, just before 8 a.m. Monday morning.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff, the train was heading south when it left the tracks at the Mount Road overpass, leaving it hanging over the I-5 below.

“Injuries and casualties reported, numbers to come,” the detachment tweeted earlier Monday morning.

Later on Monday, the Pierce County Sheriff said they could not update casualty numbers, noting that several cars were still too unstable to search.

READ: High-speed rail tragedy leaves plans in shambles, says columnist

Preliminary numbers from the Associated Press said that at least six people were killed.

Dozens of victims have been taken to local area hospitals, according to a hospital operator in the Tacoma area.

A Washington State Patrol trooper confirmed that five cars and two semis were hit but that no motorists were killed.

The train had 12 cars and two engines; of those, 12 jumped the tracks. A state patrol trooper said that no fuel had leaked so far but hazmat crews were on their way to the scene.

In a statement Monday morning, Amtrak said that there were 78 passengers and five crew members aboard the train, which was the Cascades 501 travelling from Seattle to Portland. The company is looking into the incident.

All Amtrak service south of Seattle has been halted. According to the Amtrak website, the 501 only began running between Seattle and Portland on Monday and the Pierce County Sheriff confirmed that this was the first day that these tracks had been used to run the Seattle-Portland train.

Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency following the disaster.

READ: Washington Governor, B.C. premier talk high speed rail during visit

As of early Monday afternoon, National Transportation Safety Board had deployed a team of investigators to the area.

All southbound lanes of the I-5 remain blocked as crews work to finish searching the rubble for bodies and clearing the train cars.

Anyone with friends family on the train is asked to call 800-523-9101 and avoid heading to the region.

More to come.

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