Amphibious tour vehicle lacked axle fix before Seattle crash

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amphibious tour vehicle lacked axle fix before Seattle crash.

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle duck boat that swerved into an oncoming charter bus, killing five people and injuring dozens, did not have an axle repair that was recommended for at least some of the amphibious tour vehicles in 2013, federal investigators said. The duck boat tour operator issued a statement: “Ride the Ducks of Seattle wishes to express its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the people who were killed and those that were injured”, it said. Ride the Ducks International, which refurbished the vehicle in 2005, warned its customers two years ago about potential axle failure and recommended a specific repair or increased monitoring, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said at a Sunday news conference. One witness told KOMO earlier this week the duck’s left-front wheel appeared to lock up before the crash, and NTSB investigators found damage on the axle as well as surrounding components.

Weener on Saturday had said the vehicle’s left-front axle was “sheared off”, in the crash, which killed four people when the Duck veered into oncoming traffic and hit a charter bus. “We are still working to understand what happened”, he said. They were among about 45 students and staff from North Seattle College who were on the bus when the tourist-carrying duck boat swerved into it on the six-lane Aurora Bridge with no median. It wasn’t clear what prompted it, how the potential failure was discovered or whether it applied to all duck boats or only those that the company had refurbished, Weener said.

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