On July 28, 1962 ——
In the last few days, the “Philadelphia Inquirer” ran a retrospective piece on a horrendous train derailment that was called the “Phillies Special,” which was carrying fans from the Harrisburg, PA area to the July 28, 1962 Philles game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The images below the exerpt from the recent column are images of the two front pages of the Philadelphia newspapers from July 1962 and a photograph of the rescue efforts.
“At 5:07 p.m., four cars of Pennsylvania Railroad’s Extra 4878 East, a train carrying Central Pennsylvanians to that Phillies game, had derailed 3.7 miles east of Harrisburg. Three of the cars somersaulted down a 30-foot embankment and plunged into the Susquehanna River.
The wreck’s statistics were gruesome: 19 dead, 105 injured. A 65-year-old widow from Darby was among the deceased, as were four members of one family, including a 10-year-old boy en route to his first big-league game.
The excursion’s name, the “Phillies Special,” explained why when first responders arrived at the scene, they saw several red baseball caps drifting in the Susquehanna’s shallow current like roses tossed onto a fresh grave.”