Two dead after cruise ship hits bridge in Germany

A river cruise ship carrying nearly 230 people has struck a bridge in southern Germany, crushing the wheelhouse and killing two crew members, authorities said.

The Viking Freya had just cast off while it was still dark from the town of Erlangen on its way to the Hungarian capital, Budapest, along the Main-Danube Canal when the collision occurred, police said.

The dead were a 49-year-old who was guiding the vessel in place of the captain and a 33-year-old sailor. Both men were from Hungary.

Police say the 181 passengers and 47 other crew members on the voyage were unhurt. They remained aboard the ship for hours until rescue workers could extend a walkway to get them off the vessel and take them to nearby hotels.

Photos of the incident on the Bavarian Radio website showed passengers seated calmly at tables in the ship's dining room as they waited.

Viking Cruises said in a statement that "we are heartbroken, and company executives are on the scene to work closely with local authorities to understand the details of the accident".

Police said the cause of the incident was under investigation. A police spokesman said it appeared the retractable wheelhouse was not lowered in time, the dpa news agency reported.

The company said passengers could continue on another vessel from the town of Passau with a modified itinerary or return home. It said customer representatives would be in touch upon their return home to discuss compensation for the disruption of their trip.

More in this Section

36 players cleared in Spain match-fixing trial36 players cleared in Spain match-fixing trial

Sixty firefighters tackle large blaze in Glasgow city centreSixty firefighters tackle large blaze in Glasgow city centre

13 feared dead with 'no signs of life' on White Island after volcanic eruption13 feared dead with 'no signs of life' on White Island after volcanic eruption

Granny knows best: Key role of post-menopause killer whale grandmothers revealedGranny knows best: Key role of post-menopause killer whale grandmothers revealed


As David Attenborough announces new series on plants, we run down some of the weird and wonderful vegetation he might include.11 bizarre plant species from around the world

The weather’s always going to be a key factor on any wedding day — but especially so when the bride works for Met Éireann, writes Eve Kelliher.Wedding of the week: Bride and groom are literally on cloud nine

My wife and I are in our fifties and she has just started using porn. She thinks it will enhance our sex life if we watch it together, but I find the idea a total turn-off.Suzi Godson's Sex Advice: My wife wants us to watch porn together?

As you probably have heard by now, changes to the rules concerning gift vouchers in Ireland came into effect earlier this month, giving consumers more rights when it comes to these popular items.Making Cents: Play your cards right when giving gift vouchers this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner