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Fire in Philadelphia Rail Station Cuts Service, Tangles Rush Hour

From Reuters

A six-alarm fire in the basement of Philadelphia’s main railroad station severed the New York-to-Washington rail connection and snarled the evening rush hour commute Monday.

No passengers were reported injured, but two station employees and six firefighters were hospitalized for treatment for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.

The fire started about 6 p.m. in a basement bowling alley of the 30th Street Station and spread to some commuter trains.

It was contained about four hours later. The primary damage was from smoke and heat, a Fire Department spokesman said. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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Amtrak service between Trenton, N.J., and Wilmington, Del., was cut off, and shuttle buses ferried Christmas travelers between the two points.

Engineers reported that Amtrak rails would return to service this morning but that the status of commuter lines was in doubt. A spokesman for the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority said engineers estimated that two tracks might be open in time to allow partial service during the morning rush hour.


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