Two young tourists from Hungary remain missing after a popular Philadelphia tour boat was struck by a barge yesterday sending 37 people plunging into the murky Delaware River. Several people were transported to Philadelphia hospitals with personal injuries.
The Philadelphia boat accident occurred along the busy waterfront near Penn’s Landing in front of scores of horrified onlookers. Local boaters, bystanders, policemen, firefighters, Coast Guard and a visiting Navy SEAL team rushed to the rescue as the DUCK boat rolled under the barge and sank. All but two of the passengers were rescued. Teams searched for the two until dark yesterday and continued the search this morning. Divers located the DUCK boat in 50 feet of water but visibility was too poor to determine whether the missing passengers were aboard the sunken craft.
One of Philadelphia’s most popular tourist attractions, DUCK boats are based on amphibious WWII boats capable of land and sea travel. The boat involved in the accident suffered mechanical trouble and a small fire shortly after entering the water with a full load of sightseers. The 2-man crew had radioed for help and passengers were awaiting rescue when the huge barge bore down them. Passengers said they had less than 45 seconds to secure lifejackets and abandon ship before the barge hit.
Owned by the city of Philadelphia, the barge hauls sludge to a Water Department recycling plant. The powerless, driverless barge was directed by a tugboat owned by K-Sea Transportation Partners of New Jersey. Initial investigations indicate that the tugboat crew was unaware of the DUCK boat in its path.
Philadelphia personal injury accidents like this that involve multiple responsible parties present a complex legal challenge requiring the expert knowledge of an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney. Visit us now to learn more.