Two Viking Cruises crew killed in bridge crash

Two Viking Cruises crew killed in bridge crash

Two Viking Cruises crew members have been killed after one of its ships struck a bridge in southern Germany.

The Viking Freya was carrying around 200 passengers when it hit the bridge along the Main-Danube Canal early on Sunday.

The ship had just cast off while it was still dark from the town of Erlangen on its way to Budapest.

Police said the driver's cabin was crushed under the rail bridge, killing a 49-year-old at the wheel and a 33-year-old sailor. The other 47 crew members and 181 passengers were unhurt.

Police said they are still investigating the cause of the crash.

"For reasons not known so far the driver's cabin of the ship collided with a bridge, and two crew members, 33 and 49-years-old, were killed," police spokesman Michael Petzold said. "The two men had to be freed with heavy equipment by firefighters."

Passengers had to remain on the ship for several hours while rescue teams worked to extend a walkway to get them off the ship.

Viking Cruises said in a statement reported by the Associated Press: "We are heartbroken, and company executives are on the scene to work closely with local authorities to understand the details of the accident."

Passengers are being allowed to continue on another vessel from the town of Passau or return home. It said customer representatives would be in touch upon their return home to discuss compensation for the disruption of their trip.

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