Federal agency plans briefing on deadly Seattle bus crash | us news

Federal agency plans briefing on deadly Seattle bus crash

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amphibious tour vehicle, bus crash raises safety concerns.

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 (AP) — The so-called duck boat was ferrying tourists across a crowded Seattle bridge when the amphibious vehicle suddenly swerved into an oncoming charter bus carrying foreign exchange students on their way to an orientation event.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. The resulting crash killed four students, injured dozens of others and raised safety questions about the distinctive former military vehicles popular with tour groups across the country. 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.

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. Traveling in the opposite direction, two Philadelphia friends on a cross-country road trip, Brad Volm and Bradley Sawhill, were cruising over picturesque Lake Union when they said they saw the duck boat’s left tire lock up as it swerved into the charter bus, T-boning it. The military-style tour vehicle that can also be operated on water belongs to a tour company called Ride the Ducks, which offers tours known for exuberant drivers and guides who play loud music and quack through speakers as they lead tourists around the city. The collision on the Aurora Bridge, which carries one of the city’s main north-south highways over the lake, left a tangled mess of twisted metal, shattered glass and blood, witnesses said.

Susan Gregg, a spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center, said in a statement early Friday that one person is in critical condition and 11 are in serious condition in intensive care, Gregg said. 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. 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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