A federal investigation into the duck boat crash in Seattle on Thursday has revealed that the boat in question did not have all of the recommended repairs. The fifth international student died for injures sustained when the duck boat crashed into a charter bus.
Two years ago, all duck boats were encouraged to repair their axles by Rides the Ducks International. It warned customers of the potential for failure and recommended specific repairs or increased monitoring.
The exact spot where the fail would occur- around the axel shaft- was known and specific instruction on how to correct the damage- welding collars around the shaft- were issued.
“This particular duck had not had the fix,” said Earl Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board.
On Thursday, the front left front tire of the Seattle duck boat stopped rotating suddenly, causing the boat to veer wildly into a bus on the Aurora Bridge. Investigators found the axle of the left front side was sheared off.
45 students and teachers from the North Seattle College were taking a tour of the city on a charter bus when the duck boat crashed into it. Five have died so far. In addition, 50 people were hospitalized for injures sustained from the crash. As of today, 13 remain in the hospital- four in intensive care, one in critical condition.
All Ride the Ducks’ vehicles have been suspended from operating until the outcome of the investigation is announced. The results of the federal probe are not expected to be made public for a year.