Portland physician describes 'catastrophic' scene after Washington Amtrak derailment

A children's hospital neurosurgeon on his way to Seattle said he spent roughly two hours administering first aid to individuals injured Monday morning after an Amtrak train derailed off a bridge and onto an interstate highway, according to KATU-2 News.

Nathan Selden, MD, PhD, chair of the pediatric neurosurgery department at Portland, Ore.-based OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, told KATU-2 News he was traveling with his son to Seattle when the train derailed onto the interstate.

Dr. Selden and his son were not injured in the crash and immediately began providing aid to dozens of injured people.

"It was something truly massive and catastrophic," Dr. Selden said. "I've only seen things like this on television before I happened upon it this morning. ... I was seeing patients who were conscious, with severe lacerations, skull fractures, back and neck injuries, pretty bad pelvic fractures and leg and arm fractures."

While the incident is still under investigation, authorities reported at least three people were killed and dozens more injured. A member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday the train was traveling at approximately 80 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone before careening off the bridge. It is unclear if the train's speed caused the derailment.

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