Amtrak train derailed
A derailed Amtrak passenger train lies on its side before the Chambers Bay Bridge on Puget Sound in Steilacoom, Washington - File Photo Gig Harbor Police Department/Handout via REUTERS

An Amtrak train with more than 267 people on board derailed on Sunday afternoon (2 July) near Puget Sound in Washington, US. The accident resulted in minor injuries, local fire officials and the rail service said.

Amtrak said in a statement that the cause of the derailment, which took place at 2:30pm local time (7:30pm BST), was under investigation. Four cars of the 15-car northbound train derailed during the incident.

Paul Zerfluh, whose son who was on the train told News Tribune that the locomotive came 'to a violent stop'.

"All of a sudden the realization is they've got cars that have broken outside the line of the tracks, and they're dangling on the rocks, close to the water," the passenger added.

Many people posted images of the incident on social media. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter," there appear to be only minor injuries from the waterfront derailment."

"All passengers are being evacuated, and emergency responders are on the scene," the train service said, adding that travellers were being provided with alternate transportation.

Amtrak said the locomotive and baggage cars of the train 506, which runs between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eugene, Oregon derailed at the Chambers Bay Bridge in Steilacoom, Washington, just south of Tacoma.

Floating oil-absorbent booms were deployed in the water in case of a fuel spill by the fire fighters but none occurred, the fire department reported.

"This could have been a lot more catastrophic because it was by the water," Sheriff's Det. Ed Troyer told Q13Fox.