Federal Agency Plans Briefing on Deadly Seattle Bus Crash

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Before deadly Seattle crash, critics called duck boats too dangerous.

Brown said her operation hasn’t changed any procedures, but the owners and safety team would evaluate the situation after the federal investigation is complete. Looking for a unique sightseeing experience, many tourists have chosen to explore U.S. cities by “duck boat,” an amphibious vehicle that provides perspectives from both the street and the water.

SEATTLE – The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the deadly crash of a duck boat and charter bus in Seattle marks the first time the agency has looked into a land crash of the amphibious vehicles critics say are too dangerous for city streets.The agency has scrutinized the military-style vehicles several times when they’ve been in accidents on water, board member Earl Weener said at a news conference Friday.Though the exact cause of the crash is not known, Kerns overheard one tourist say that a tire on the Duck blew, causing the vehicle to crash into the side of the bus. Story continues below READ MORE: 4 people dead, dozens injured after two buses collide in SeattleFour international students from Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan died in the crash Thursday after witnesses said the duck boat veered into the oncoming bus on a Seattle bridge.A team of investigators arrived Friday and will spend a week or more on site.

Brian Tracey, president of Ride the Ducks Seattle, which is independently owned and operated, said Thursday that it was too early to speculate about what happened. The bus passengers were headed to the city’s popular Pike Place Market, then Safeco Field for orientation events when the accident occurred, according to the AP. A so-called duck boat was ferrying tourists across a crowded Seattle bridge Thursday when the vehicle suddenly swerved into the students’ oncoming charter bus. Warren Brown, the president of the school, on Friday identified three of the dead as Claudia Derschmidt, a 49-year-old from Austria; Privaudo Putradauto, 18, from Indonesia; and Mami Sato, 37, from Japan.

Duck No. 6 was last inspected by the Coast Guard and approved for operations in March. “I’d like to see something done so that we don’t have to have this interview again”, he said. “… so this is a new aspect of amphibious vehicles for us”. Barb Graff, Seattle’s director of the Office Emergency Management, said a private location has been established for families of the deceased and injured, where city, county and Red Cross workers are offering assistance and mental health counseling. The bridge has been the focus of scrutiny over the years due to safety concerns. “I just immediately got up, which I shouldn’t have done, and looked for mom and dad and had to lay back down”. Several hotels in Seattle are making rooms available to the families free of charge, Graff said, and Delta and Alaska airlines are helping with international and domestic flights.

The North Seattle College, which the international students onboard the bus attended, has also established a support center for families or students affected by the tragedy. Tracey told the AP the captains/drivers are Coast Guard-certified, possess commercial driver’s licenses and are required to take continuing education once a month. NTSB member Weener, said federal authorities’ goal in this latest duck boat investigation is to prevent future accidents. “We’d like to find out what… the industry can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said Friday.

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