Wash. panel suspends Ride the Ducks pending probe

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Authorities identify 5th student killed in Seattle bus crash.

SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities have identified a fifth international college student who died following last week’s crash of a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle, or duck boat, in Seattle. Washington state regulators suspended the operations of a Seattle tour company Monday after one of its amphibious vehicles swerved into an oncoming charter bus last week, killing five people and hurting dozens of others.

The company that sold a WWII-era amphibious Duck vehicle involved in a deadly Aurora Bridge crash said it had “no reason to believe” a recommended safety fix had not been made. The state Utilities and Transportation Commission met in an emergency session to keep the repurposed military “duck boats,” owned by Ride the Ducks of Seattle, off the streets pending inspections and a review of driver and maintenance records. The decision came a day after federal investigators announced that the duck boat involved in the crash did not have an axle repair that was recommended two years ago for such vehicles. Authorities are looking into whether axle failure caused the crash; the vehicle’s front left axle was found sheared off, but it’s not clear if it broke before the collision or during it. He did not address whether he had known of the 2013 bulletin before the crash. “We will not return any of the fleet to service until we can demonstrate that our fleet is well-maintained, road-worthy and safe through an independent inspection of every Duck vehicle we operate,” he said.

It said in a written statement Monday that it warned its customers in 2013 about potential failure of the front axle housing assembly on 57 vehicles in service around the country, and it recommended specific inspections and repairs to reinforce the housing. Its other affiliates and licensees — in Philadelphia; Stone Mountain Park, Georgia; Branson, Missouri; and Newport, Kentucky — had all complied, the company said. They were among about 45 students and staff from North Seattle College who were on the bus when the tourist-carrying duck boat swerved into it on the six-lane Aurora Bridge, which has no median. Since the sightseeing vessels are built on chassis manufactured in the 1940s, they are exempt from federal motor vehicle safety standards, Mongeluzzi said.

The crash has put renewed focus on the safety of duck boats, which are circa-WWII military-style vehicles that give tourists a view of a city by both land and water. In Philadelphia, the family of a pedestrian killed by a duck boat sued the city and tour operator, with the goal of banning the vehicles on the city’s streets. She was identified Monday by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as Haram Kim. “Our hearts go out to the families of all the victims, and we commend the first responders who came to their aid. In San Francisco, recent regulations have banned drivers from acting as the tour guides, requiring companies to have an additional employee who can fill that role, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

It was unclear what prompted it, how the potential failure was discovered, or whether it applied to all duck boats or only those the company had refurbished, Weener said. Thirteen people died in 1999 when an amphibious boat sank to the bottom of Lake Hamilton in Arkansas in an accident the National Transportation Safety Board blamed on inadequate maintenance. 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.

The alert 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. Nine victims of the crash remain at Harborview Medical Center, including three in serious condition and in intensive care, spokeswoman Susan Gregg said Monday. 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.

Police: Student stabbed at Baltimore high school dies

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police Identify Student Killed In City School Stabbing.

Baltimore police spokesman T.J. The teen had been in class on the third floor of the school building in the 1300 block of McCulloh Street when a sophomore went into the classroom and stabbed him at approximately noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24, police reported. Police said Sunday that investigators are collaborating with the state’s attorney’s office to file additional charges now that the victim has died. Crawford remains in police custody, officials reported. “It’s a tragedy anytime we have someone killed in an act of violence, even moreso when it’s a child.

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