Two die from Paris river crash injuries: police

15th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Two out of the 12 people onboard the tourist boat which sank in the River Seine in central Paris died Sunday.

15 September 2008

PARIS -- Two people, who were seriously injured when a pleasure boat carrying 12 people sank in the River Seine in central Paris, died Sunday, police said.

The pair, a 45-year-old man and a six-year-old boy, died within hours of being trapped Saturday night in the sunken boat near the French capital's Notre Dame cathedral for some 20 minutes before frogmen found them, hospital officials added.

Their identity was not given but the man was not the boy's father as had been assumed earlier, they said.

The skipper of a large tourist boat La Besogne, moored near the scene of the accident, and his deputy were remanded in custody late Saturday and an investigation for causing bodily harm was opened to determine the cause of the accident, judicial officials said Sunday.

Police said the small private boat had "gone straight down." They did not give its name or say who owned it but a spokesman for the police union Alliance, Jerome Eymery, told AFP at the scene that there were no foreigners on board.

Ten of the 12 people on board - six adults and six children, all of them French and from six families - had been plucked from the water immediately after the boat sank.

Hospital officials said five children between three and 14 and five adults aged 38 to 45 were slightly injured.

Four of the injured had left hospital by Sunday morning.

Swirling currents at the scene of the accident where the river narrows as it flows around the island on which the cathedral sits complicated rescue operations, firefighter major Joel Prieur told the press.

The boat was raised from the riverbed Sunday morning but police did not give details.

It was not clear whether the boat hit the Archeveque bridge just behind Notre Dame, or collided with La Besogne, one of the gaudily-lit vessels which carry thousands of tourists up and down the Seine every day, called Bateaux Mouches.

"Only the inquiry being carried out by the state prosecutor will find out," junior transport minister Dominique Bussereau told journalists at the scene.

Rescuers said they arrived five minutes after the alert was sounded at 9:52 pm (1952 GMT).

[AFP / Expatica]

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