NTSB: Axle from duck boat in deadly Seattle crash “sheared off”

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Feds: Axle from duck boat in deadly crash ‘sheared off’.

SEATTLE (AP) — The left front axle of the duck boat involved in a deadly Seattle accident was sheared off, but federal investigators said Saturday they don’t know if it was damaged before the collision with a charter bus that killed four international college students. In a news conference Saturday evening, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member Earl Weener said investigators haven’t determined what caused the axle to break or concluded that it was a cause of the crash.

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. Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission spokeswoman Amanda Maxwell said the amphibious vehicle involved in the crash — known as Duck No. 6 — underwent regular annual examinations by a federally-certified inspector, most recently in 2015 and 2014, and met federal standards. Bellair Charters & Airporter President Richard Johnson has said the driver of the charter bus, which carried dozens of North Seattle College students, told company officials it appeared the Duck driver lost control of the six-wheeled vehicle just before it veered into the bus and killed four passengers. The NTSB has previously investigated at least two multiple-fatality accidents involving Duck vehicles in other states, both of which occurred on water.

He said the red fluid found splattered on the inside of the Duck’s wheel well likely came from the transmission, but investigators haven’t reached a final determination on that. 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 flights.

Officials said the company is also required to conduct its own, federally certified annual inspections on each vehicle, and the UTC said records show the company has met that standard.

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