At least 3 dead, 77 injured as Amtrak train derails on Washington State overpass (VIDEOS)

WASHINGTON – Several cars from an Amtrak train plunged onto Interstate 5 near Tacoma, Washington, after it derailed on a railway bridge on Monday, killing at least three passengers, according to the Washington state Department of Transportation.

All southbound lanes of the interstate are closed due to the derailment in Pierce County, the U.S. authorities said.

“We are aware of an incident involving Amtrak train 501,” Amtrak said in a tweet. “We will update with additional details as they become available.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that “injuries and casualties” have been reported, stating that exact numbers will be revealed soon. Seventy-seven people have been transported to area hospitals after the derailment.

Amtrak train 501 was part of a service that launched Monday morning, according to CBS News.

It was not immediately clear whether the derailment, which came during a busy travel time one week before the Christmas holiday, was connected to the new route between the cities of Tacoma and Olympia.