Philadelphia, PA Congressional Limited Train Wreck, Sept 1943

Congressional Limited Train Wreck 1943 Congressional Limited Train Wreck 1943

All hospitals in the area were soon filled with dead and injured. Urgent appeals were sent out for blood donors and registered nurses.

At the scene of the crash, the dead were removed one by one and placed beside the tracks until they were removed by stretcher-bearing civilian defense volunteers.

At hospitals, this scene was typical:
At Frankfort Hospital, a small truck pulled up to the entrance. A woman, clad in what had been a skirt and sweater, stumbled out, holding her clothes together as best she could with one hand, while with the other she helped the driver lift the body of her husband.

They carried the body into the hospital. An intern took one look, waved the husband to the morgue in the basement.

The woman was led to a room upstairs.

There were 18 bodies laid out in the basement, including four children's.
Priests of St. Joachim's church administered last rites in the basement, then went upstairs to the injured, many of whom were in critical condition.

The whole neighborhood responded. Men and women rushed in with bedding, sheets, gauze -- even pots and pans for heating water.

The dead and injured were being brought into the hospital so fast that no attempt was made to keep track of them.

It was reported that the train hit a freight. The limited was bound from Philadelphia to New York.

The engine and every coach were said to have been derailed. Railroad officials were quoted as saying, "The train was just thrown all over the tracks."

The wreck occurred at Frankford and Glenwood Avenues, near the Frankford junction of the railroad.

Amarillo Daily News Texas 1943-09-07

Continued

Comments

Congressional Limited Train Wreck, Phila, PA 1943

Interesting facts regarding the wreck. The car that separated was placed into the train as an extra car in Baltimore. This car reportedly developed a "hot box" which was a bearing heating up due to a lack of oil in the journal. A hot box would eventually cause a failure of the wheel due to the loss of the bearing. During the recovery of bodies, an armed detail from the US Army arrived to recover a lieutenant and the briefcase he was carrying. They instructed the on site commanders they would remove the body with or without permission.