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German freighter rams Dutch ferry

The Local · 22 Oct 2010, 14:06

Published: 22 Oct 2010 10:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Oct 2010 14:06 GMT+02:00

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Dutch divers and helicopters with infrared cameras have been searching for passengers and the ferry’s skipper without success, police said. It remained floating upside down as rescuers conducted their search.

Initial reports said that the ferry was carrying both cyclists and pedestrians, but Dutch police said later that they could not rule out the possibility that only the skipper had been on board.

“But the search for victims goes on until we’re certain, of course,“ police spokeswoman Carine Portengen said.

So far only the ferry skipper has been reported missing, she said.

By afternoon the man had still not been found, and ferry operator Swets ODV said they feared for his life, but that a much larger catastrophe had been avoided.

“Usually the ferry is full of school children at this time, but we’ve been lucky that they’re on autumn break,” a spokesperson from the company said.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the small pontoon ferry overturn after the collision with the cargo ship around 7 am on the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal between Breukelen and Nieuwer Ter Aa, about 30 kilometres south of Amsterdam. The canal connects the city to the Rhine River, used mainly for shipping.

The captain of the German freighter, which came from Duisburg, is being questioned by Dutch police, who have called on witnesses to step forward. Authorities later said the captain had passed an alcohol test.

Story continues below…

The 72-kilometre long canal was closed off for several hours to ease rescue efforts.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:45 October 22, 2010 by tallady
A very unfortunate situation that could have been a lot worse if school was in.
14:45 October 22, 2010 by Fruitkok
Don't forget to mention that a German truck driver also knocked down a WW2-memorial in the Netherlands today/yesterday. Germany's primary quality might be rebuilding, its second one is definitely destruction.
15:01 October 22, 2010 by auniquecorn
yea, a bus proably pulled out in front of the truck driver, and he was doing evasive action.

As for a ferry pulling in front of a Freighter, I think that would be hard to avoid, Thank god no children were on board.
02:04 October 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Would this be considered an act of war?
17:04 October 25, 2010 by radonrain
Fruitkok, your statement is ridiculous - characterizing a country by the unrelated actions of a few individuals, at least one of which was an accident. Shame on you and your ignorance.
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