07/08/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Philadelphia, PA – A sightseeing boat carrying 35 people along the Delaware River was struck by a barge and overturned Wednesday, July 7, 2010, dumping passengers into the water and resulting in the loss of 2 individuals, as reported by the Philadelphia Enquirer. The amphibious tour boat, known as a duck boat, was struck at approximately 2:39 p.m., and sank shortly after.
Police divers were still searching as of Thursday morning for a 16-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man, both from Hungary. The lost passengers are feared to have become stuck in the wreckage of the duck boat after it sank in 40-feet deep waters.
The thirty-five passengers who survived suffered only minor injuries. Police, fire and Coast Guard vessels aided in their rescue. Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey reported the murky waters were impeding the divers’ search for the missing tourists. He explained, “They don’t know if the bodies are inside the boat because [it’s] so dark…You can’t see three inches in front of you.”
Ramsey also stated authorities were planning to exhume the boat and search it, but he admitted he did not know how long that would take.
According to Police Department Spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore, the duck boat launched just south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and experienced mechanical difficulties and a fire that forced it to shut down. He explained, “The boat was sitting on the water waiting for help.”
Ten people were taken to the hospital. Of the 10; two declined treatment and eight were treated and released, according to a Hahnemann University Hospital spokesperson.
The Georgia-based tour company reported it has suspended all duck boat operations nationwide in wake of the crash. Ride the Ducks released a statement through its website that gave condolences, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with our Philadelphia guests, crew members and their families.”
An investigation is underway
YouTube video provided by the Associated Press.
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