Seattle bridge’s narrow lanes a safety concern years before bus crash

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Fun’ tour of Seattle turns into nightmare for students.

Seattle: A school bus carrying international students collided with a tour vehicle in the US West Coast city of Seattle on Thursday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens of others, officials said. Images of the accident on a busy bridge showed extensive damage to the left side of the bus, part of which was completely sheared off by the force of the crash. One of the hospitals that accepted victims said four male Japanese students were treated but not seriously injured, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK. Melissa Mixon, spokeswoman for North Seattle College, told AFP that 45 students and staff with the school’s international program were on board the bus.

Traveling in the opposite direction, two Philadelphia friends on a road trip across the country, 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 amphibious vehicle is operated by 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. Some of the school bus passengers who escaped relatively unscathed were taken to the nearby Woodland Park Zoo where they were given first aid before being taken back to their campus. The accident took place shortly after 11:00 am (1800 GMT) on the Aurora Bridge, a busy thoroughfare that links the city’s center with northwest Seattle.

Lying in his hospital bed, Tim Gesner, 61, of Orlando, Florida, told The Seattle Times he was standing in the back of the duck boat and trying to take a picture with his cellphone after their tour guide pointed out the view. Company President Brian Tracey said he did not know what happened. “Our main concern right now is with the families of those hurt and killed,” he said.

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