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Site of Philadelphia Amtrak crash has deadly rail history

PHILADELPHIA -- Frankford Junction, the scene of an Amtrak train derailment that killed at least six people and injured 140 others Tuesday night, was the site of another deadly train wreck 71 years ago, CBS Philadelphia reports.

The same stretch of tracks in Philadelphia's Port Richmond neighborhood was the scene of one of the worst rail disasters in U.S. history.

On September 6, 1943, Labor Day, Pennsylvania Railroad's Congressional Limited was travelling from Washington D.C. to New York City when, according to the National Railway Historical Society's Lancaster Chapter, a journal box on the front axle of one of the 16 cars overheated and began to spark. Almost immediately, the axle snapped in two and fell off, causing eight of the train's cars to derail.

Following the crash, the New York Times front page headline read: "MORE THAN 50 ARE KILLED IN WRECK OF SPEEDING CONGRESSIONAL LIMITED IN THE OUTSKIRTS OF PHILADELPHIA."

It took hours to free the trapped and several days to clear the wreckage.

The train was carrying 541 passengers at the time of the crash. In total, 79 people were killed and 117 others were injured.

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