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Pax hurt when Christmas cruise hits motorway bridge

January 2, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A river cruise is one of the most relaxing and serene ways to see Europe – but the tranquillity stops if your ship crashes into a pillar supporting a highway bridge.

The river cruise ship Swiss Crystal, 101 metres long and operated by Swiss shipping company Scylla AG, suffered that accident last week, injuring 25 of the 129 people aboard. Three were hurt seriously enough to be taken to hospital. The accident happened on the Rhine near Duisberg in Germany on Boxing Day (26 December).

A vivid YouTube clip, one minute long, shows all the action. Narration is in German but the events are plain:

Scylla has blamed a steering error. The company told Swiss news site Swissinfo.ch that an investigation was underway to avoid anything similar happening again.

Swiss Crystal, which was heading to the Netherlands, is now in a shipyard there for repairs to its badly damaged bow.

Most of the injuries were described as minor. The bridge was closed while authorities conducted structural tests.

Germany’s Deutsche Welle news service described a major rescue operation, with boats from the local fire department attending and another river cruise ship helping.

Passengers, from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, continued their cruise after Scylla provided another boat.

Swiss Crystal, launched in 1995, sails out of Basel.

Written by Peter Needham

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