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Barge Strikes Philadelphia Tour Boat


PHILADELPHIA - Two people are confirmed missing after a tourist boat in Philadelphia was hit by barge carrying 37 people in the Delaware River. The boat may have been stalled in the river when it was struck.

Philadelphia police said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that a 16-year-old girl and a 20-year-old male were missing.

They were using Sonar to try to find the boat and Fox 29 has learned that the boat has been located. It may also be in a deeper commercial channel, and not in a shallow area.

Police spokeman Lt. Frank Vanore said a fire on board the boat disabled the boat's engine, which caused the boat with its 37 passengers to drift into the path of the 800-foot barge.

A duck boat is an amphibious craft that can drive on land and also function as a boat.

The Guard says six people have injuries and have been taken to local hospitals.

Witnesses tell Fox 29 some passengers jumped from the boat into the river when they saw the 800-foot barge approach before the accident.

Police sources also tell Fox 29 almost all the passengers had life vests or flotation devices.

The Captain of the Port of Philadelphia has closed the river to all traffic between the Walt Whitman and Ben Franklin bridges until further notice.

The rescue effort was greatly helped when a group of Navy SEALs was in the water doing a training exercise near the accident. The SEALs then joined the rescue effort.

There were 35 tourists on the boat and two crew members onboard when the accudent happened at 2:39 p.m.

The captain of the tourist boat is safe.

A number of rescue boats are still on scene, including the US Coast Guard and Police Marine Units.


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