Seattle duck boat crash: 20-year-old dies, bringing toll to 5

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5th crash victim dies; NTSB says Duck did not receive recommended safety fix.

A duck boat that crashed into a bus in Seattle, killing five people and injuring dozens, did not have an axle repair that was recommended for some of the amphibious vehicles in 2013, says the NTSB. A fifth international college student has died following last week’s crash of a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle, or duck boat, in Seattle. Ride the Ducks International, which refurbished the boat in 2005, issued a warning to its customers two years ago about potential axle failure and recommended a specific repair or increased monitoring, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said. Witnesses described seeing the duck boat’s left front tire lock up Thursday before it veered into the bus on the Aurora Bridge, and federal investigators announced Saturday that they found the duck boat’s left front axle sheared off — though they said it wasn’t clear if the axle had broken before or after the collision.

Also on Sunday, a federal investigator said the Duck vehicle involved in the crash didn’t receive a safety fix recommended by the company that refurbishes the amphibious tour vehicles. She was one of about 45 students and staff from North Seattle College who were traveling Thursday to the city’s Pike Place Market and Safeco Field for orientation events when the duck boat suddenly swerved into their oncoming charter bus. Authorities have identified the others who were killed as: Runje Song, 17, of China; Privando Putradanto, 18, of Indonesia; Mami Sato, 36, of Japan; and Claudia Derschmidt, 49, of Austria. The state Utilities and Transportation Commission, which regulates commercial motor carriers, said Sunday that it would inspect all Seattle Duck vehicles and driver records. Four international college students died at the scene of the crash, and a fifth — identified as a 20-year-old woman — died Sunday, Harborview Medical Center said.

Tracey said he agreed with that assessment, and the Ducks would stay off the road until “we can demonstrate that our fleet is well-maintained, road-worthy and safe.” He said the company would continue to cooperate fully with investigators. The warning included specific instructions for inspecting the area where the shaft could fail, as well as instructions for the repair, which involved welding collars around the axle shaft, Weener said. Investigators determined that the vessel, built by the Army in 1944, was not designed for passenger service and as a result lacked the proper buoyancy to remain afloat. Two Hungarian tourists were killed in 2010 when a sightseeing duck boat was hit by a barge on the Delaware River near Philadelphia, sinking it in water about 55 feet deep.

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