Amtrak train crash: Derailment happened on same stretch of track as 1943 Franklin Junction disaster

This is not the first time the spot, where the Amtrak 188 train derailed, has seen such destruction

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The cause of the Amtrak train crash is still under investigation, but the train was said to have been navigating the same curve as the one where one of the worst train accidents in US history happened - 72 years ago.

The Frankford Junction crash, which occurred on 6 September 1943, happened at the intersection of Frankford and Glenwood Avenues; less than a mile from where Amtrak train 188 derailed.

The coincidence was pointed out by Gar Joseph, assistant managing editor of the Philadelphia Daily News.


In the 1943 crash, 79 people were killed when a journal box overheated and an axle snapped in two,  catching the underside of a train car and catapulting it upwards. A further 117 people were seriously injured.

The train was on its way from Washington, DC to New York City when the accident happened two hours into the journey. The train company had laid on 16-car trains for the Labour Day weekend, as it was expecting high demand. According to a report from the time, many of the passengers on board were soldiers home on leave; America was in the grip of World War II at the time.

Tuesday's crash saw at least five people killed and dozens more injured.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, "It's an absolute disastrous mess.

"We do not know what happened here. We do not know why this happened."

Amtrak said there were 238 passengers and five crew members aboard the derailed No 188 train on route from Washington, DC, to New York.