Officials funnel info through Twitter after Amtrak derailment

Although longer statements were saved for traditional press events and media statements, the platform was an important channel for real-time information and updates.

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Amid a disaster, many eyes turn to Twitter.

Thursday was no exception after a tragic train derailment in Washington state sent officials scrambling to update the public about casualties and the cause of the deadly crash. On the platform, blood centers solicited donations, and public figures offered condolences or hawked their political agendas.

On its inaugural run, an Amtrak train jumped the tracks south of Tacoma, Wash., killing at least three people and injuring others. The train was going 80 mph in a zone intended for 30 mph, according to the National Transportation Safety Bureau.

NPR reported:

Train 501 of Amtrak’s Cascades service from Seattle to Portland was on its maiden run of a faster-speed service when it careened off the track at a curve at DuPont on Monday. Thirteen of the train’s fourteen cars came off the tracks. In addition to the three people killed in the accident, dozens of people — train passengers, crew and from vehicles on the ground — were injured, Washington State Patrol spokesman Dan Hall said. Ten of those hurt were in serious condition, four had moderate injuries and another nine suffered minor injuries, he said.

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