Critics say duck boats are too dangerous for city streets | us news

Critics say duck boats are too dangerous for city streets

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

12 years since Duck vehicle in fatal crash got state inspection.

The Ride the Ducks vehicle involved in Thursday’s deadly crash on the Aurora Bridge has not undergone a state inspection for at least 12 years, transportation regulators acknowledged Friday. SEATTLE: Investigators on Friday combed through the wreckage of two buses that crashed in Seattle, as authorities released the names of the four foreign students who died in the accident.SEATTLE — People with foreign language skills were, by necessity, among the first emergency workers to respond to a horrific bus accident on Thursday that killed four international college students and sent nearly 50 other people to hospitals. Among the fatalities was a 49-year-old Austrian woman, Claudia Derschmidt, who had just arrived in the West Coast state of Washington with her 15-year-old son to pursue her studies at North Seattle College. Both were ejected from the vehicle. (Evan Bush / The Seattle Times) Update at 4:36 p.m.: Katie Moody, 30, a pharmacy technician and drug research assistant from Fremont, Calif. was visiting Seattle to celebrate her niece’s third birthday.

The other victims from Thursday’s crash were identified as 18-year-old Privaudo Putradauto of Indonesia, Mami Sato, 37, from Japan and a 17-year-old Chinese student whose name was not released because she is a minor. For a company this size, our inspector typically conducts inspections on five vehicles, which was what the 2012 inspection consisted of.” Information about the state’s last inspection on Duck No. 6 emerged Friday amid three separate investigations launched in the accident’s wake. Some witnesses have reported the Duck appeared to have a mechanical problem with a wheel right before it fishtailed, careened across the bridge’s centerline and slammed broadside into an oncoming Bellair Charters & Airporter bus. Thursday when an amphibious tourist vehicle — a duck boat, as they are often called — collided with a bus from the college is still being investigated, the police and transportation officials said. NTSB board member Earl Weener said in a tweet that the aim was to understand “not just WHAT happened but WHY so we can recommend changes to prevent similar accidents”. – AFP KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) says it is committed to continue providing responses to former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to help the latter remember its fact-based answers. “For example, Tun Mahathir previously claimed that RM42 billion was missing from 1MDB.

Seeing good people is just amazing,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes. “They thought it was very important for me to know my parents were OK.” Wearing a brace around her neck, Katie said it’s going to be a “slow healing process.” She suffered fractures to her collarbone and a bone in her neck, and a burst artery in the accident. Now, he claims that ‘over RM20 billion cannot be traced or accounted for’. “For Tun Mahathir’s benefit, a comprehensive breakdown of how 1MDB utilised its RM42 billion of debt – based on the company’s audited financial statements – can be found at http://1mdb.com.my/press-release/rm42-billion-all-accounted-for,” it added. “In relation to 1MDB land, Tun Mahathir conveniently forgets that 1MDB is 100% owned by the Malaysian government and therefore, any land value increase directly and solely benefits the government. “Apart from now quoting a much lower land value of RM3,000 per square foot (vs RM7,000 per square foot in a previous allegation by him), Tun Mahathir forgets to acknowledge that 1MDB has committed RM3 billion on infrastructure development in TRX. “This equates to approximately RM1,500 of infrastructure expenditure per square foot, paid for by 1MDB, and subsequently recovered through land sales,” said 1MDB.

The bus was carrying about 45 students and employees in the college’s popular international program, which draws people of various ages from around the world. Greg was released from the hospital Thursday, but said he still feels dazed. “Supposedly, I was interviewed yesterday by CNN and I don’t remember … you get blank spots,” he said.

It added that Dr Mahathir had also repeated his old claim that 1MDB transferred funds to the private accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. “As he will be well aware, this is despite the independent Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) clearly confirming on Aug 3, 2015 that the funds were from a private donor and not from 1MDB. “1MDB regrets that Tun Mahathir keeps forgetting the facts, not just from 1MDB but from independent and respected agencies such as the MACC,” said 1MDB. – Bernama Update at 3:37 p.m.: The youngest victim killed in the crash has been identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as Runjie Song, 17, of China. Witnesses to the accident, which also involved two passenger vehicles, reported seeing the northbound duck boat suddenly swerve with what may have been a wheel or tire problem.

Inspectors randomly select the vehicles to check, and a company must make all vehicles available for such reviews, which include mechanical inspections, checks on records, insurance and drivers’ credentials. A spokesman for the city’s Department of Transportation said Friday that an initial inspection had found that the bridge was not structurally damaged in Thursday’s accident. But the pall hanging over the college, a community college where about 10 percent of students are international and the median age is 29, is just beginning, school officials, students and staff members said. If the UTC determines that there were any violations, or if either driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the companies will face financial penalties, Gill said.

The UTC employs just five federally trained commercial-vehicle inspectors charged with conducting inspections of all motor carrier firms statewide, she said. Thursday had started happily enough, with two buses setting out on a beautiful fall morning for the college’s traditional get-acquainted-with-the-city tour of places like Pike Place Market.

In 2012, the UTC conducted a comprehensive safety inspection of Ride the Ducks’ fleet, including driver qualifications, employee drug and alcohol testing and vehicle maintenance records, issuing a satisfactory rating to the company, the agency said. When they climbed aboard the buses, their college life in Seattle — tests and pressures, new discoveries in a new place — was still in front of them. “It is particularly painful for us knowing that the students that were on the two buses were just about to start the school year,” said North Seattle’s president, Warren Brown. “We did not have a chance to really develop a longtime relationship.” Cassandra Miller, a full-time student who also works at the college, said that she was on the job here on Wednesday, helping take photographs for student identification cards, and thought she may well have had some of the victims there with her in front of the camera. The team includes experts who will examine mechanical conditions of vehicles, along with any potential human, safety mechanism and bridge-structural factors, Weener said. Investigators are also asking witnesses who have photographs, video or other relevant information to call a Seattle police hotline at 206-233-5000, Weener said. The company’s overall safety record in the last two years appears to be good, according to federal records. “Once the investigators arrive they’ll hit the ground running,” Weiss said. “They will be looking for evidence, they will try to examine the vehicles.” During a briefing Friday afternoon, NTSB officials said they would not speculate on the cause of the crash.

Such NTSB probes — which can include an on-scene investigation for about a week, followed by months of analysis at NTSB headquarters — typically last about a year, Weener said. The NTSB previously has investigated at least two multiple-fatality accidents involving Duck vehicles in other states, both of which occurred on water. They didn’t know whether their 18-year-old son was involved in the fatal crash until they woke up at 6 a.m. their time, saw the news and phoned him. Xing, who arrived in Seattle on Sept. 16, wasn’t on the bus because he and two friends, also students from China, had turned down an invitation from a teacher to come along. “We didn’t get on the bus because we just wanted to go downtown by ourselves.

We would have been in danger.” In the main courtyard of the campus, passers-by stopped by a table with candles to pen messages of support to the victims and their relatives on slips of paper. “Please write a supportive message to the people who lost a family member or friend in the tragic bus accident,” a sign on the table says. “Any kind words help.

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