Derailed train survivor describes speed, moment of impact

Chris Karnes tells "GMA" what he saw and felt when an Amtrak train in which he was a passenger derailed in Washington state, killing at least three people.
2:56 | 12/19/17

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Transcript for Derailed train survivor describes speed, moment of impact
Want to bring in Chris Carnes from the pierce county transit advisory board on that train yesterday and, Chris, thanks for joining us. You knew it was going fast. You were tweeting about it. Yes, we were passing traffic as we were going along the highway. And you even said you thought you were going around 7 miles an hour. Did you think it was too fast? I -- well, we had never been -- there's been no passenger traffic -- travel on this route before so it -- we didn't really have any experience about it. So when was the first moment you knew something was wrong? So, everything seemed to be going fine up until the point where there's this turn where you have to go on an overpass over I-5 and so it really only what we felt was for a split second we felt a little -- we felt like we were going into a turn but then we heard -- felt some jittering and the next thing we knew, we were flying off the rails and then down an embankment. There was no slowing down as you head into that curve? It -- I don't recall any. So you say you went down into an embank many. What kind of fall was that for you? For me it was we were just sort of catapulted into the seats in front of us. And you look okay right now. You had no injuries. What about everybody else in the car? Most -- most of the passengers in our car had only minor injuries. There was one person who in the car in front of us, they were catapulted to the front of the car and they were pretty badly injured. They were unconscious but still breathing. So you're tilted on this embank many. How did you get out? So, we -- at first we tried the emergency door but that wouldn't budge because the train car had been crumpled and so what we had to do was we pulled out the strap -- the string around the emergency window and we kicked that out. Were people panicked, screaming, crying, calm? No, there were -- there were people screaming behind us in the car behind but there was no way we could access them. And what could you see of the cars I think they were ahead of thaw went over the overpass? Could you see that at all? Yeah, so the cars that -- we were on the other side so couldn't see the cars that went over the overpass. But what I could see from the window was we had disconnected from the other -- the back portion of the train and I could see that someone had been catapulted from the train onto the ground. Just an unimaginable scene but we're glad you're okay, Chris, thanks for sharing your story this morning. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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