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Rhine boat crash claims two lives

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08:43 CEST+02:00
An investigation is under way into the collision of two boats on the Rhine River in Basel that left two men dead.

One man died in hospital on Saturday from serious injuries suffered when a Belgian barge collided with a German motor boat carrying a survey crew the previous day, the cantonal prosecutor’s office said on Sunday.

The German boat was capsized, throwing four members of the survey crew into the water, including the seriously injured man, who died despite extensive medical care, the office said.

He was initially resuscitated on a jetty by paramedics after being pulled from the water before being transported to Basel’s university hospital.

The skipper of the survey boat is missing and presumed dead, the online website of Blick newspaper reported.

Two other survey crew victims fished out of the river were later able to leave hospital, Basel authorities said.

No-one aboard the barge was injured, the prosecutor’s office said.

The survey crew was from the HafenCity University of Hamburg.

The crew had been commissioned, in cooperation with the Swiss Rhine port authorities, to test depth measurement technology for the river’s shipping lanes.

The crew’s sunken motorboat was salvaged by a fire boat

The exact circumstances of the collision remain unclear.

Basel police issued a request for witnesses who may have seen the incident to contact the force or to phone the city’s crime centre on 061 267 71 11.   

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