Two crew killed in river cruise boat collision in southern Germany

A river cruise ship sticks underneath a railway bridge on the Main Danube Canal near Erlangen Germany Sunday Sept. 11 2016. Authorities say the river cruise ship hit a rail bridge in southern Germany crushing the wheel

Two crew killed in river cruise boat collision in southern Germany

Viking Cruises has said it is "heartbroken" after two crew members died when one of its ships struck a bridge in Germany. The ship came to rest under the rail bridge and a pedestrian bridge which paralleled the rail bridge.

The cruise ship Viking Freya, owned by Viking River Cruises AG, left Erlangen with 230 passengers aboard early Monday morning. The accident reportedly occurred at 1:30 A.M.

The crew members who died was a 49-year-old who was guiding the vessel in place of the captain and a 33-year-old sailor.

The wheelhouse, where the ship is steered from, is completely crushed.

The Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, which runs between the German towns of Bamburg and Kelheim transports thousands of river-cruise passengers annually between the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, was closed yesterday but has now re-opened.

The passengers and 47 other employees were unhurt. No other injuries or casualties were reported.

Police said the cause of the incident was under investigation but speaking to local media a police spokesman said it appeared the retractable wheelhouse was not lowered in time. Passengers were given the option to continue cruising on a modified itinerary, embarking on the Bestla in Passau, or to return home.

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